2016 Annual Undergraduate Scholar and Research Symposium winners announced

Published 12:00 pm Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Special to The Leader

Over 60 students from departments across the McNeese State University campus competed for recognition and cash awards at the 2016 Annual Undergraduate Scholar and Research Symposium sponsored by the McNeese Alumni Association each spring.

Events included a juried student art exhibit, a performing arts showcase and undergraduate research poster and oral presentations.

Top selections in each of these areas have advanced to participate in the fifth annual University of Louisiana System Academic Summit April 14-15 hosted by Nicholls State University in Thibodaux. All travel costs and registration fees for students and faculty mentors are being paid by the alumni association.

This program is a way of recognizing students and faculty mentors who work together on research projects and scholarly endeavors, according to Joyce Patterson, alumni affairs director

Oral presentation winners, their faculty mentors and departments are as follows:

  • Joseph DeBartola III, Lake Charles, “Utilizing Big Data Analysis of Recipes and Ingredients to Forge a Healthier and Tastier Lifestyle,” Dr. Chengwei Lei, electrical engineering and computer science
  • Cathryn Frey, Sulphur, “Molecular Identification of Damaged and Dying Neurons in Rocky Mountain Elk,” Dr. Amber Hale and Mollie Matz, and Brittany Slabach (University of Kentucky), biology and health sciences
  • Michelle Petrarca, Houston, Texas, “Behavior Study in Racing Quarter Horses: Effect of Behavior Type on Performance,” Dr. Edward Ferguson, agricultural sciences
  • Susan Regmi, Nepal, “A Study of Salinity Transport in Calcasieu Water System,” Dr. Ning Zhang, chemical, civil and mechanical engineering.
  • Alli Rushing, Hornbeck, “Effects of L-arginine on the Sensory, Physicochemical and Microbiological Characteristics of Beef Jerky,”

Dr. Wannee Tangkham and Dr. Frederick “Chip” LeMieux, agricultural sciences.

Poster presentation winners, their faculty mentors and departments are as follows:

  • Tryfon Boukouvidis, Greece, “Developing Effective Learning Techniques for Engineering Teaching in a Large Classroom Setting,” Dr. Dimitrios Dermisis (chemical, civil and mechanical engineering), mass communication
  • Joseph Dronet, Lake Charles, “Explaining Variation in Municipal Recreation Policies,” Dr. Henry Sirgo, social sciences
  • Bryan Haley, Covington, “Evaluating the Effect of Ov-synch Vs. Co-synch on Artificial Insemination Pregnancy Rates in Beef Heifers,” Dr. Edward Ferguson, agricultural sciences
  • Ethan Jones, Winnfield, and Tyler Morgan, Sulpur, “Virtual Reality Integration into Game Development,” Kay Kussmann, electrical engineering and computer science
  • Eric Santini, Montgomery, “Effects of Promolux Platinum on Shelf Life of Ground Beef Patties,” Tangkham and LeMieux, agricultural sciences

Five visual arts students have had artwork selected for the Summit’s juried student art exhibit. The students and their artwork are: Erica Fisher, Lake Charles, “Withered,” digital photograph; Rae-Leigh Johnson, Eunice, oil on canvas painting, “Forlorn”; Jordan Hebert, Kinder, graphite drawing, “Venus of Room 133”; Katy Geymann, Lake Charles, photoshop, untitled; and Stefan Borssen, Belgrade, Maine, graphic design, “Robot.

The Summit also includes a performance art showcase that features undergraduate student musicians and thespians with one representative from each university. McNeese’s representative – selected as the Performing Arts Showcase competition winner – is the Honor’s Brass Quintet, whose members include Victor Medina, Houston, Texas, trumpet; Eli Cutler, Lufkin, Texas, trumpet, Roxie Jo Davis, Harlingen, Texas, French horn; Andrew Usie, Orange, Texas, trombone; and Michael Farrar, Sulphur, tuba.  Faculty mentor is David Scott.