Student Research Week 2016



The mission of SRW is to recognize and celebrate student research at Texas A&M University by providing an opportunity for students to present research and to foster an environment for students, faculty, staff and administration to learn about the research occurring at
Texas A&M University.

Student Research Week 2016 was among the largest ever, with 740 student participants over three days of oral and poster presentations. For the second consecutive year, undergraduate participants (456) outnumbered graduate students, reflecting the continuing expansion of undergraduate research opportunities at Texas A&M.

The 19th annual Student Research Week (SRW) was held March 28-April 1, 2016 in the Memorial Student Center (MSC). Coordinated by the Graduate and Professional Student Council (GPSC), SRW allows both graduate and undergraduate Aggies the opportunity to present their research, increasing the exposure to research endeavors across academic disciplines at Texas A&M University.

In a friendly, conference-like setting, graduates and undergraduates are provided the opportunity to meet with faculty members and peers who share their research interests, as well as others who are just getting started in research. Having a comfortable, supportive stepping stone on which to build presentation and networking skills has proved to be an important aspect of SRW for many students. Students who are looking for ideas about how to get started in research or are interested in identifying faculty research advisors are strongly encouraged to attend future SRWs.

Making an Impact on SRW

Emily Pewitt ‘16, Wildlife & Fisheries Sciences major and Undergraduate Research Ambassador, agreed to serve as the first LAUNCH representative to the SRW committee. Through her participation, she was able to better represent undergraduate research concerns in SRW organization. Here are her reflections on the experience:

Through my participation as an Undergraduate Research Ambassador at LAUNCH, I became the first undergraduate representative on the Graduate and Professional Student Council’s (GPSC) SRW planning committee.

The structure of the committee reminded me of how a research lab typically operates—each member had to identify their own strengths and skills for the group to utilize—but as the first undergraduate member involved in the process, I needed to find the right balance. As a member of the committee, my greatest learning experience was balancing my personal goals with the goals of the group. However, as an Undergraduate Research Ambassador on the committee, I found that I had to balance my responsibility to LAUNCH, which in turn developed my organization and communication skills. Through this experience I gained a great amount of respect for the immense amount of labor and organization that goes into coordinating the event and the teamwork necessary to make it successful.

The Undergraduate Research Ambassadors program has provided me with opportunities and experiences to interact with the leaders and up-and-coming in research at Texas A&M University. As I enter the education profession at the high school level, I am elated to share my experience and love for research in my classroom. Undergraduate research benefits all participants, regardless of the varied pursuits after graduation. I plan to attend graduate school in the College of Education. However, my experience as an Undergraduate Research Scholar and Undergraduate Research Ambassador has prepared me to foster a love for learning for future generations as a public school teacher.

SRW 2016 Award Winners

Subject Area Awards

Astronomy, Chemistry, Physics, Material Sciences:

  • 1st place undergraduate poster: Kelly Nieto*, Chemistry
  • 2nd place undergraduate poster: Stephen Bierschenk, Chemistry
  • 1st place undergraduate oral: Brooke Versaw, Chemistry
  • 2nd place undergraduate oral: Jacqueline Shea*, Chemistry

Math, Statistics, Computer Science:

  • 1st place undergraduate poster: Zachary Varnadore*, Computer Engineering
  • 2nd place undergraduate poster: Jacob Hartzer, General Engineering
  • 1st place undergraduate oral: Timothy Foster, Andy Tran, Shane Scott, Karrie Cheng, Natalie (Group), Computer Science
  • 2nd place undergraduate oral: Brian Dempsey* & Changning Chen* (Group), Electrical Engineering

Engineering, Architecture:

  • 1st place undergraduate poster: Nasan Tsengeg, Electrical Engineering
  • 2nd place undergraduate poster: Rebecca Sehnert*, Biomedical Engineering
  • 1st place undergraduate oral: Yuki Oji, Electrical Engineering
  • 2nd place undergraduate oral: Shafeeq Riyaj*, Civil Engineering

History, Literature, Fine Arts, Communication, Languages, Philosophy:

  • 1st place undergraduate poster: Daniel Welch, History & Anthropology
  • 2nd place undergraduate poster: Jordan Pierce, Geography
  • 1st place undergraduate oral: Virginia Neese*, Nutritional Sciences
  • 2nd place undergraduate oral: Erin Simoni*, English

Earth Sciences, Geosciences, Water Resources:

  • 1st place undergraduate poster: Hannah Taylor, Environmental Geoscience; Rachel Eyler, Geography; Claire Decuir, Geophysics; Caleb Taube; Stephanie Thompson
  • 2nd place undergraduate poster: Ariana Randal, Environmental Studies; Crystal Esquibel, Allied Health; Julianna Trevino, Environmental Studies

Health, Nutrition, Kinesiology, Physiology:

  • 1st place undergraduate poster: Sergio Cortes*, Nutritional Sciences
  • 2nd place undergraduate poster: Michael Salinas*, Nutritional Sciences
  • 1st place undergraduate oral: Michael Junior*, Biology

Medicine, Biomedical Engineering, Neuroscience:

  • 1st place undergraduate poster: Shannon Ingram, Biomedical Engineering
  • 2nd place undergraduate poster: Zachary Lawson* & Sarah Chaudhri* (Group), Biomedical Engineering; Nathan Dunkelberger, Mechanical Engineering
  • 1st place undergraduate oral: Emily Thompson**, Radiological Health Engineering
  • 2nd place undergraduate oral: Collin Harlan, Radiological Health Engineering

Plant Sciences, Animal Sciences, Wildlife & Fisheries Science, Entomology, Agriculture, Ecological Restoration:

  • 1st place undergraduate poster: Emily Berger*, Poultry Science
  • 2nd place undergraduate poster: Kaitlyn Forks*, Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences
  • 1st place undergraduate oral: Alexandria Payne*, Bioenvironmental Sciences
  • 2nd place undergraduate oral: Lauren Naylor*, Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences

Psychology, Sociology, Anthropology, Business, Education, Political Science, Economics:

  • 1st place undergraduate poster: Marissa Salazar*, Psychology
  • 2nd place undergraduate poster: Brian Kim, Psychology
  • 1st place graduate poster: Joshua Fuller*, Psychology & Spanish; Tabina Choudhury, Clinical Psychology
  • 1st place undergraduate oral: Lenae Allen*, Agricultural Communications and Journalism & Animal Science; Victoria McGuire*, Agricultural Communications and Journalism; Heather Plant*, Agricultural Communications and Journalism; Breanne Warhol*, Agricultural Education (Group)
  • 2nd place undergraduate oral: Kaitlin Wallace, Accounting; Laurence Gonzalez, Finance; Kelsey Kemp, Supply Chain Management

Biology, Microbiology, Molecular Biology, Biochemistry, Biophysics:

  • 1st place undergraduate poster: Jacob Watson*, Biology
  • 2nd place undergraduate poster: Jessica Bhandari*, Genetics
  • 1st place undergraduate oral: Steven Wall*, Biology
  • 2nd place undergraduate oral: Lorna Min*, Biochemistry

Sigma Xi Symposium Theme Award

  • Undergraduate: Timothy Foster, Andy Tran, Shane Scott, Karrie Cheng, Natalie, Computer Science

Sigma Xi Interdisciplinary Award

  • Undergraduate: Shannon Ingram, Biomedical Engineering

Glasscock Humanities Award

  • Undergraduate Poster: Daniel Welch, History & Anthropology
  • Undergraduate Oral: Erin Simoni*, English

Division of Student Affairs Award

  • Overall winner: Crystal Dozier, Anthropology

Vice President of Research: Excellence in Research Award

  • Undergraduate: Collin Harlan, Radiological Health Engineering

*Undergraduate Research Scholar
**Undergraduate Research Ambassador

Written by Emily Pewitt ‘16, Wildlife & Fisheries Sciences
Edited by Adelia Humme ’15, Annabelle Aymond ‘14 and Dr. Duncan MacKenzie