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Undergraduate Diversity Research Showcase features student work

The 6th Annual University-wide Diversity Research Showcase held at the MSU Union featured nearly 50 students presenting their research that ranged from increasing mobility accessibility to delving into issues of diversity in rural elementary education settings.

Thank you to our presenters and attendees for joining usThis year, the Diversity Research Showcase featured students representing 12 different collegesand more than $3,000 in prizes were awarded to our student researchers,” said Erika Crews, Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Coordinator and Academic Advisor for the Honors College.

It was wonderful to see so many from the campus community join us to support the outstanding work these students are doing locally and globally in their efforts to advance equity and justice.” Crews added. 

Danielle Kontchoan Honors College sophomore majoring in psychology, shared her research project focusing on the lack of resources and education surrounding LGBTQIA+ gender and sexuality expression in the Nyanza Province in Kenya.

I researched the effects on mental health and how that leads to the lack of everyday needs. There are many instances where individuals cannot get jobs, housing, schooling, or even a place to worship. They are discriminated against because of their status. Mental health is all about representation, inclusion, and equity.”

Bess German, assistant dean of the Honors College, said she was impressed with the strong representation across the event.

I think Dr. King would be proud to see the breadth and strength of the work students are doing to advance inclusivity and address challenging issues,” German said. “The Diversity Research Showcase was again an incredible collaborative effort that supported students who want to make a difference in our understanding in so many areas. Thank you to the faculty mentors across campus who model this work.

The event was sponsored by Undergraduate Research, the Office for Institutional Diversity and Inclusion, the College of Arts and Letters, the College of Social Science and James Madison College.

The following students were recognized for their research:

Preliminary Research Award for Research in Progress ($250)

  • Alissa Hakim, third-year, Arts and Humanities & Political Theory and Constitutional Democracy, Honors College
    • Variable Patterns in Risks and Their Levels Amongst Diverse Juveniles
    • Research mentor: Dr. Caitlin Cavanaugh
  • Natalia Warthen, fourth-year, Saxophone Performance, Honors College
    • Saxophone in Progress: Diversifying Classical Music as Modern Musicians
    • Research mentor: Joe Lulloff

First Prize Poster ($700)

  • Jerome Hamilton, Jr. (second-year, Political Science-Prelaw, Honors College), Nel Robinson (second-year, African American & African Studies and Political Science, Honors College), and Sharmila Suresh (third-year, Economics, Honors College)
    • Television News and the (Mis)Representation of Cocaine and Opioid Users: A Systematic Study of NBC Nightly News
    • Research mentor: Dr. John Waller

Second Prize Poster ($500)

  • Miquela Ochoa, fourth-year, Hospitality Business
    • Why DEI is Critical to Rectifying the Labor Crisis
    • Research mentor: Dr. MiRan Kim

Third Prize Poster ($300)

  • Ann Ketchum, second-year, Elementary Education, Honors College
    • When Good Intentions Are Not Enough: A Look into Issues of Diversity in Rural Elementary Education Settings
    • Research mentor: Dr. Terah Chambers

First Place Oral ($700)

  • Olivia Brenner (third-year, Hospitality Business, Honors College), Layna Cho (fifth-year, Hospitality Business), Lauryn Davis (second-year, Linguistics), and Miquela Ochoa (fourth-year, Hospitality Business)
    • Exploring the Impact of K-Culture Experience on Cultural Diversity Understanding: Do Gender and Race/Ethnicity Matter?
    • Research mentors: Dr. MiRan Kim and Dr. Ok-sook Park

Second Place Oral ($500)

  • Destiny Kanning, second-year, Human Biology
    • Studying Negative Social Effects and Misconceptions of Cystic Fibrosis of Patients Aged 17-24, Preliminary Discussion for Pulmonary Organoid Development
    • Research mentors: Dr. Ryan Thomas, M.D., and Ashlee Price, R.N.

Third Place Oral ($300)

  • Jonah Cumings (second-year, Political Science-Prelaw, Honors College) and Josie Danielkiewicz (second-year, Political Science-Prelaw, Honors College)
    • Television News and the (Mis)Representation of Cocaine and Opioid Users: A Systematic Study of NBC Nightly News Reports
    • Research mentor: Dr. John Waller

Recorded poster presentations and oral presentation materials are still accessible via Symposium (which requires a free account):

To view an album of photos from the event, click here.

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