Honors Students Among Top Winners at Undergraduate Research Symposium

Honors Students Receive Awards at 2015 Undergraduate Symposium

Honors College students were among top winners at the 2015 Undergraduate Symposium on Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity. 

The Symposium, which was held March 1 in the Kent State Student Center ballroom, welcomes abstract submissions from students across all academic programs including education, social and physical sciences, visual and performing arts, and communication and technology, to name a few. Undergraduate students attending any of Kent State's eight campuses and representing any major are eligible to participate.

The following participants were Honors College students recognized as first place, second place or honorable mention recipients at the 2016 Undergraduate Symposium on Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity.


Senior dance studies major Ashley Lain was an honorable mention for her short documentary titled "Protecting Costa Rica," completed with faculty mentor David Smeltzer, Ph.D.


Sarah Nock and Nirmala Ghimirey were awarded first place for their research project titled "Hypoxic Tumor Microenvironment Alters Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Isoform Expression in Cancer Cells" completed in association with two graduated students in biomedical sciences and faculty mentor Gail Frazier, Ph.D.

Senior zoology major Colleen Cosgrove was named an honorable mention for "The Effect of Leaf Litter Species and Habitat Conditions on Vernal Pool Invertebrates and Communities" completed in association with faculty mentor Ferenc De Szalay, Ph.D.

Biomedical Sciences

Bilal Muhammad, senior integrated life sciences major, presented "Demyelination in Multiple Sclerosis as an Effect of N-Acetylaspartate Depletion," completed with three other undergraduate students and recognized as the second place prize in the category. Faculty mentors included Robert Clements, Ph.D., Ernest Freeman, Ph.D., Jennifer McDonough, Ph.D. and Kholoud Alkhayer, a graduate student in biological sciences.

Computer Science/Mathematics

Senior mathematics major Essien Cobham took home first place for "Concurrent Face Routing for Vehicular Ad Hoc Networks," completed under the direction of Mikhail Nesterenko, Ph.D., and a graduate student in computer science.

Donald Fincher, Jr., sophomore mathematics major, was awarded second place for "The Curious Case of Heat Transfer Through Water, Solid and Atmosphere and Analytical Solution of Fin/Slab Heat Transfer and Property Distribution," completed under the direction of Mahmoud Najafi, Ph.D., and Greg Putman, M.S.

Sophomore physics major Jonathan Boyd earned honorable mention for "Sudoku-Solver Program Utilizing Logical Solving Techniques and Recursive Backtracking." His mentor was Dorothy Klein.


Senior English major Hagan Whiteleather took home first place for her research project titled "From Riveter to Riveting: The Rebirth of the Femme Fatale in Post-war America," which was completed under the direction of Kimberly Winebrenner, Ph.D.

Gabriel Schut, senior visual communication design major, was awarded second place along with fellow undergraduate visual communication design students for "På isen iPhone Application." Their project was completed with mentor Gretchen Rinnert, M.G.D.


Senior biochremistry major Zachary Fejedelem, was awarded first place for "Synthesis of Photoactivatable HNO Donors," completed under the direction of Paul Sampson, Ph.D., Alexander Seed, Ph.D., Nicola Brasch, Ph.D., and a graduate student in chemistry.

Political Science

Austin McCrea, junior political science major, won first place for his project, completed with faculty mentor Daniel Hawes, Ph.D., titled "The Effect of State-Level Religious Policies on the External Political Efficacy of Minority Religious Citizens."

Senior history major Randall Slonaker won second place for his project "The Fiery Cross and the Lamp of Knowledge: The Ku Klux Klan and Educational Reform in Akron, Ohio, 1920-1930." His mentor was Mary Ann Heiss, Ph.D.


Aneela Qadir, senior psychology major, was a first place recipient for "The Acute Effects of High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) Versus Endurance Training Interventions on Transient Mood and Cognitive Performance Following a Stressful Event," completed with Misty Hawkins, PhD., and Joel Hughes, Ph.D.

Senior psychology major Justin Leiter was a second place recipient for his project completed with David Fresco, Ph.D., and a graduate student titled "Convergent Validity of the Multidimensional Assessment of Interoceptive Awareness."

Myla Gordo, a senior psychology major, was recognized as an honorable mention for "The Moderating Role of Attachment Style in the Associations Between Work-Home Interference, Relationship Satisfaction and Job Satisfaction," completed with Judith Gere, Ph.D., and a graduate student.

Social Sciences/Education/Public Health

Veronica Musser, a freshman speech pathology and audiology major, was named a first place recipient for "Relationships With Family and Chronic Health Conditions," completed with Kelly Cichy, Ph.D.

Junior exercise science major Mallory Vetter was a second place recipient for her work completed with J. Derek Kingsley, Ph.D., and graduate students titled "High-intensity Exercise on Central and Peripheral Vascular Function."

A complete list of Symposium winners is available at kent.edu/ugresearch/symposium-details.

For more information about the Undergraduate Research Symposium, contact ugresearch@kent.edu or the Office of Experiential Education and Civic Engagement (OEECE) at (330) 672-7876.

POSTED: Wednesday, April 29, 2015 - 10:19am
UPDATED: Wednesday, May 4, 2016 - 2:21pm
Aaron Hanlin