Undergraduate, graduate students receive awards at 2019 Student Symposium

Editor’s note: Story updated April 24

More than 1,200 students showcased nearly 400 research and creative works at the 2019 UMaine Student Symposium held at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor on April 10.

The fourth annual symposium provided an opportunity for the public to interact with student researchers and scholars as they viewed posters and exhibits and listened to oral presentations.

The free public event was organized by the Office of the Vice President for Research and Dean of the Graduate School, the Center for Undergraduate Research (CUGR), Student Government, and the Graduate Student Government as part of Maine Impact Week. 

Almost 220 volunteer judges scored projects in nine categories encompassing all fields of study at UMaine. The top students were awarded at the close of the ceremony. Other special awards sponsored by various research centers also were presented at the event.

Special awards

  • Dr. Susan J. Hunter Presidential Research Impact Award: Hannah Lawrence (graduate), “Ruminating on Images Versus Words: The Impact on Negative Affect,” clinical psychology, advised by Rebecca Schwartz-Mette; Aly East (undergraduate), “All Things Considered: How Recreational Developments Affect Ecological and Social Ecosystem Services,” ecology and environmental sciences, advised by Kate Ruskin
  • Provost Innovative and Creative Teaching Award: Sherry Brown
  • Dean of Graduate School Undergraduate Mentor Award: Brieanne Berry, first place; Rose Deng, second place; Sara McBride, third place
  • UMaine Alumni Association Award: Colleen Mayberry
  • Dan Sandweiss Graduate Student Advocacy Award: Elisabeth Kilroy

UMaine research center awards

  • Maine Sea Grant: Kyle Capistrant-Fossa (graduate), “Unexpected Reproductive Traits of Grateloupia Turuturu Revealed by its Resistance to Bleach Based Biosecurity Protocols,” advised by Susan Brawley; and Charles Jones (undergraduate), “Better Understanding Aquaculture: How Economic Information Impacts Citizen Sentiment,” advised by Caroline Noblet
  • Senator George J. Mitchell Center for Sustainability Solutions award for innovative sustainability research by a graduate student: Brieanne Berry, “Reuse & Resilience in Maine’s Rural Communities: Policy Impacts of Second-hand Economies,” advised by Cynthia Isenhour
  • Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center award for policy-related research by an undergraduate student: Nolan Altvater, “Covering Traditional and Western Scientific Methods to Highlight Penobscot Sovereignty,” advised by Bridie McGreavy
  • Advanced Structures and Composites Center: Anthony Verzoni (graduate), “Origami-Inspired Design of Rapidly Deployable Structures,” advised by Masoud Rais-Rohani
  • IMRC Center: Rachel Church, Anna Martin and Arturo Camacho (graduate), “#youronlinebaggage — A Socially Engaged, Graduate Art Endeavor,” advised by Susan Smith

Graduate winners

  • Allied health (co-sponsored by Center on Aging): Kaitlin Robinson, “Effect of Simulation in Nursing Education on Senior BSN Students’ Self-Confidence Level and Preparedness for Practice,” advised by Patricia Poirier
  • Arts (co-sponsored by Graduate Student Government): Rachel Church, Anna Martin and Arturo Camacho, “#youronlinebaggage — A Socially Engaged, Graduate Art Endeavor,” advised by Susan Smith
  • Biomedical Sciences (co-sponsored by Activas-Diagnostics): Jeanne DuShane, “JCPyV-induced activation of the MAPK cascade is required for viral transcription,” advised by Melissa Maginnis
  • Education and Human Development (co-sponsored by Graduate Student Government): Naomi Caywood, “The Effects of Diverse Aged Enrollment on Community School Literacy Rates in Rural Zambia: Case Study on Impact Network International Schools, Eastern Province Zambia,” advised by Kristin Vekasi
  • Engineering and Information Sciences (co-sponsored by Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers): Thomas Leighton, “Development of an Electrical Interface for Lateral Field Excited Sensor,” advised by Nuri Emanetoglu
  • Interdisciplinary Collaboratives (co-sponsored by Climate Change Institute): Jennifer Smith-Mayo, Rafa Tasnim and Joseph Mohan, “A Framework of Past, Present and Future Cultural Responses to Water Stress in Three Distinct Regions,” advised by Jacquelyn Gill
  • Natural Sciences (co-sponsored by Maine Sea Grant/Aquaculture Research Institute): Kyle Capistrant-Fossa, “Unexpected Reproductive Traits of Grateloupia Turuturu Revealed by its Resistance to Bleach Based Biosecurity Protocols,” advised by Susan Brawley
  • Physical Sciences (co-sponsored by Frontier Institute for Research in Sensor Technologies): Morton Greenslit, “Synthesis and Characterization of Piezoelectric AlN Thin Films Using Plasma-Assisted Electron-Beam Evaporation,” advised by Robert Lad
  • Social Sciences (co-sponsored by Graduate Student Government): Melissa Jankowski, “Interpersonal and Achievement-Related Stress Moderate the Risk for Suicidality in First-Year College Students,” advised by Cynthia Erdley

Undergraduate winners

  • Allied Health (co-sponsored by CUGR): Tessa Lindsley, Samantha King, Kathleen Thibodeau and Taylor Durepo, “What Strategies can be Implemented to Increase Workplace Satisfaction and Decrease Emotional Exhaustion thus Decrease Nurse Turnover Rates?” advised by Patricia Poirier
  • Arts (co-sponsored by IMRC Center/CUGR): Sarah Seitz, “Data Queen,” advised by Jon Ippolito
  • Biomedical Sciences (co-sponsored by Activas-Diagnostics): Anna-Maria Dagher, “Exploring the Dynamic Relationship between Candida Albicans, Pseudomonas Aeruginosa and Fluconazole for Improved Candidiasis Treatment,” advised by Robert Wheeler; and Francesca Armstrong, “Characterizing a Deadly Viral Infection in the Brain by Utilizing an Innovative and Unique Approach,” advised by Melissa Maginnis
  • Education and Human Development (co-sponsored by CUGR): Hadley White, “Addressing the World Language Teacher Shortage: How Can the Franco-American Centre Support French Programs Under Pressure in Maine?” advised by Susan Pinette
  • Engineering and Information Sciences (co-sponsored by Advanced Structures and Composites Center): Isabelle Grant, Chloe Lilly and Alex Danner, “Fitness-based Optical Diagnostic Patch for the Observation of Cardiovascular Disease-risk Patients,” advised by Karissa Tilbury
  • Interdisciplinary Collaboratives (co-sponsored by CUGR): Nicole McGrath and Daniel Woodhouse, “Examining Muscle Contraction and Angular Acceleration to Detect Balance Perturbation,” advised by Vincent Caccese, Babak Hejrati, Marie Hayes and Ali Abedi
  • Natural Sciences (co-sponsored by Center for Research on Sustainable Forests): Leala Machesney, “Effects of Commercial Nutrient Solutions on Growth of Lemon Basil (Ocimum basilicum var. citriodora ‘Mrs. Burns’),” advised by Bryan Peterson and Stephanie Burnett
  • Physical Sciences (co-sponsored by CUGR): Gwyneth Roberts, “Quantifying Tidally Driven Transport in the Jordan River Estuary,” advised by Lauren Ross
  • Social Sciences (co-sponsored by CUGR): Thilee Yost, “Hmong Americans and Mainstream Politics in St. Paul, MN,” advised by Amy Fried

Winners of the 2019 CUGR and Maine Space Grant Consortium summer fellowships also were announced at the symposium, as were the following 2019–2020 Graduate School fellowships.

Chase Distinguished Research Assistantship

  • Catherine Hamley, paleoecology/archaeology, advised by Jacquelyn Gill
  • Bouhee Kang, food science and human nutrition, advised by Denise Skonberg
  • Alejandro Molina-Moctuzuma, wildlife ecology, advised by Joseph Zydlewski
  • Isaac Shepard, ecology and environmental sciences, advised by Hamish Greig
  • David Smith, cognitive psychology, advised by Shawn Ell
  • Jesse Walters, Earth science, advised by Alicia Cruz-Uribe

Janet Waldron Doctoral Research Fellowship

  • Laura Andrews, clinical psychology, advised by Cynthia Erdley and Douglas Nagle
  • David Kerschner, higher education, advised by Elizabeth Allan

Susan J. Hunter Teaching Fellowship

  • Colin Bosma, clinical psychology, advised by Emily Haigh
  • Sara Lowden, anthropology and environmental policy, advised by Lisa Newman and Darren Ranco
  • An Nguyen, American history, advised by Elizabeth McKillen
  • Michael Wilczek, microbiology, advised by Melissa Maginnis

More about the Graduate School fellowships is online.

Attendees of the symposium, including students, faculty, staff, judges, sponsors and the general public are invited to take a short survey about the event. Feedback is important to symposium organizers and will be used to improve future events. Enter your email address at the end of the survey for a chance to win a prize. Your email will not be associated with your responses. The survey is online.