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Liberty News

Students win top awards at Big South Undergraduate Research Symposium

April 19, 2018 : Liberty University News Service

Five Liberty University students took first place awards for their projects at the annual Big South Undergraduate Research Symposium (BigSURS), held at Liberty for the first time last week.

BigSURS offered students from every school in the Big South Conference (10 full-member institutions from across the Southeastern United States), as well as other colleges from the host institution’s region, an opportunity to showcase their findings through poster and oral presentations, as well as artistic performances and an intercollegiate juried art exhibition. Judges awarded the top research presentations in basic, applied, creative/artistic, and textual/investigative categories, as well as the best performing arts demonstration.

The awards presentation, held Saturday in the Center for Music and the Worship Arts, included a keynote address from Dr. Todd Zakrasek, an expert in institutional strategies relating to student learning from the UNC School of Medicine.

In all, 14 Liberty students took home BigSURS awards, outnumbering the total amount of awards given to any other school represented. In some categories, Liberty students swept the first, second, and third place awards.

Liberty University 2018 BigSURS awards:

Performing Arts

  • First Place – Rebecca Edmiston, “Chopin’s Fantasy in F minor: The Tragedy and Triumph of Poland”

Oral Presentation – Creative and Artistic

  • First Place – Sarah Blanke, “Paper Silhouettes: An Applied Study of Recycled and Unconventional Materials in Couture Fashion Design”
  • Second Place – Natalie Pace, “The Effect of Post Production on Storytelling in Narrative and Documentary Film”

Oral Presentation – Basic Research

  • Second Place – Ramon Mila David, “Combined Caloric Restriction and Low Estrogen Effects on Bone Density”
  • Third Place – My Nguyen, “Stress is Enhancing Mindset and Potential Links to Cardiovascular and Neuroendocrine Responses”

Oral Presentation – Applied Research

  • First Place – Tram Nguyen, “Sex Trafficking and Attribution of Victim Blaming:  Vietnamese Public’s Perceptions on Sex Trafficking”
  • Second Place – Luke Fischer, “A Stream Continuum Analysis of Bacteria Community Assembly in Association with Crayfish and their Symbionts”
  • Third Place – Sarah Williams, “Measuring Cultural Intelligence Change in Homestay Study Abroad Students”

Oral Presentation – Textual/Investigative Research

  • Second Place – Rachel Lambach, “Linguistic Encoding of Genericity: A Comparative Study of Spanish and Brazilian Portuguese”
  • Third Place – Lucas Tubbs, “Perception is Everything: Repairing the Image of American Drone Warfare”

Poster Presentation – Basic Research

  • First Place – Caleb Schreiner, “Vitamin B9 Can Change the Activity of Genes in Your Brain”
  • Third Place – Shiloh Sooklal, “Comparison of HPLC and GC-MS for Analysis of Atrazine”

Poster Presentation – Applied Research

  • First Place – Nhat Truong, “Pyruvate Kinase Activity Assay Development”
  • Second Place – Hannah Philips, “The Cryptococcus neoformans pyruvate kinase PYK1 influences pathogen interaction with host immunity”

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