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Student Excellence Shines at the 7th Annual Diversity Research Showcase  

East Lansing, Mich. – Students and supporters gathered for the 7th Annual Diversity Research Showcase (DRS) earlier this month. Nearly 50 Michigan State University students presented their research on issues relating to diversity that advance inclusion.  

Erika Crews – Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging for the Honors College – co-coordinated the event along with Isabella Figueroa, the Honors College DEIB Graduate Assistant.  

“It has been exciting to witness the Diversity Research Showcase reach new heights in its seventh year, including the highest number of applicants and strong support from co-sponsoring units,” Crews said. “This speaks volumes about the dedication and enthusiasm of our students, faculty, and partners in fostering a thriving intellectual community.”  

Dean Long holds his phone up to take a selfie with award winners and event coordinators inside a tan room

The showcase saw a record 49 student presenters across 34 presentations. Students were recognized in three categories: preliminary research awards for works in progress, poster projects, and oral presentations. Winners in each category were awarded monetary prizes ranging from $300-$800.  

Preliminary Research Awards 

To qualify for this category, projects had to be incomplete, but show strong potential. All projects below were awarded $300:  

  • Nadiah Hasnol (Psychology, 3rd Year), Vivian Martinez-Sandoval (Supply Chain Management, 4th Year), and Shahed Mady (Supply Chain Management, Honors College, 2nd Year) 
    • Exploring the Implications of AI in Plagiarism Detection Software for International and Multilingual Students 
  • Lowell Monis (Data Science, World Politics, Honors College, 1st Year) 
    • Intersectionality in the Halls of Power: A Comprehensive Study of Diversity in the United States Congress and State Legislatures 
  • Quynh Tong (LBC Biochemistry, and History, Philosophy, & Sociology of Science, 3rd Year), Neha Navathe (LBC Human Biology, 4th Year), and Natalie Seitz (LBC Neuroscience, 2nd Year) 
    • Broadening Knowledge of Historical Health Inequities Through Art in Hospital Settings 

Poster Presentations 

Poster presenters prepared 3-4-minute recorded video presentations for asynchronous evaluation by two faculty/staff judges. During the reception portion of the event, students optionally presented a poster to in-person attendees outlining their research. The poster presentations had a historic three-way tie for third place, meaning there were six projects recognized in this category.  

  • Third Prize for $500: Daviona Cross (Psychology, Honors College, 3rd Year) 
    • Racial Prejudice and Discrimination in Health Care Among Pregnant African American Women 
  • Third Prize for $500: Darielle Kontcho (Psychology & African American and African Studies, Honors College, 3rd Year) 
    • Distress Associated with Psychotic-Like Experiences in Marginalized Communities 
  • Third Prize for $500: Evamelo Oleita (Interdisciplinary Studies and African American and African Studies, 3rd Year) 
    • If Nobody Got Us, We Got Us: Exploring Black Girls’ Spaces of Resistance Within Historically White Institutions 
  • Second Prize for $650: Nupur Huria (LBC Human Biology and Psychology, Honors College, 3rd Year) and Harsna Chahal (LBC Neuroscience and Human Biology BAs, graduate student) 
    • Factors Impacting Perceptions and Stigma Surrounding Menstruation: Michigan State University Perspective 
  • First Prize for $800: Anum Latif (LBC Neuroscience, Honors College, 2nd Year), Abhinav Anand (LBC Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, 2nd Year), Amaya Aten (Comparative Cultures & Politics and Arts & Humanities, 3rd Year), and Christeen Mangalathet (LBC Human Biology, Honors College, 2nd Year) 
    • Undergraduate Students’ Understanding of Equity in Residential Colleges 

Two smiling students stand on either side of a light green and white poster titled "Understanding of Equity in Residential Colleges"

Oral Presentations 

Students also had the opportunity to present their research in a 5-minute oral presentation to their peers, faculty, and judges. Those awarded were as follows: 

  • Third Place for $500: Kailyn Butler (LBC Neuroscience and Human Biology, 3rd Year), Aya Abu-Zama (LBC Human Biology, Honors College, 3rd Year), and Neal Sanghvi (LBC Human Biology, Honors College, 2nd Year) 
    • Diverse Narratives of Blackness in Healthcare: Understanding Disparities in Preventive Screenings 
  • Second Place for $650: Evan Clerinx (Comparative Cultures & Politics and Psychology, 3rd Year) 
    • I Am Proud to Be Disabled: The Liberatory Power of Identity Construction for Those with Mental Health, Neurological, and Substance Abuse Conditions 
  • First Place for $800: Jerome Hamilton, Jr. (Political Science Pre-law, Honors College, 3rd Year) 
    • Searching for Harmony in the Outdoors: Exploring Hunting and Fishing Participation in Michigan 

A college student in a tan shirt and glasses holds a multi-colored first place certificate next to a person in a suit and tie

Event Partners

The DRS, organized by the Honors College, was supported by a record number of campus partners, including: the MSU Undergraduate Research Office, the Office for Institutional Diversity and Inclusion, MSU Libraries, the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, the College of Arts and Letters, Broad College of Business, the College of Natural Science, the College of Social Science, and Spartan Life & Engagement. 

Thanks to these partners, DRS was able to increase monetary prizes and amplify this fantastic annual event. 

For more information about DRS, including event photos and student project materials, click here.

By Brandi Stover

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