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Sunday, April 14,2013

OU expo shows off students' research, creative abilities

By Elizabeth Cychosz
Photo Credits: Elizabeth Cychosz
Photo Caption: Ohio University students present their projects at the Student Research and Creative Activity Expo Thursday.

Students from all majors and backgrounds gathered at Ohio University's Convocation Center on Thursday to show off their hard work. They were attending the annual Student Research and Creative Activity Expo, in which students are given a place to present research and projects from the past year in a convention-like setting full of their peers.

Tables, easels and less conventional displays filled the basketball court and surrounding, circular hallway. Presentations ranged from one titled "Rhetorical Analysis: Eulogizing Assassinated Civil Rights Leaders" to a "Lion Headdress" costume to "Collective Heating's Effect on Tumor Surrogate Reverse Micelles."

"I'm not here for a prize or to show off – though I am here to show off for my school," OU senior Amanda Stanton explained. "It's fun to talk to the next generation of makeup artists." Stanton is studying production, design and technology in the School of Theater, and she presented a method of making special-effects makeup using latex prosthetics.

Each of the 526 registrants was placed in a section of similar fields in which they competed for first- and second-place prizes, so, say, a biology major and a music major wouldn't compete against each other. Some fields were large enough to be broken up into multiple, smaller competing groups.

Judges walked around the event space throughout the five-hour expo to listen to brief presentations by every registrant. At the end of the day, they cycled again around the Convo to present first- and second-place awards to individuals in every field.

Holly Strickland, a senior majoring in psychology with a minor in biological sciences, and Ed Gaither, a first-year graduate student in public administration, were awarded first place for their research through the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs. They had analyzed the relationship between Appalachian values and first-generation student values, with the intention to improve in future years a new scholarship program offered by the Appalachian Cohort for Engineering.

"I'm really happy it was well-received and garnered a lot of attention and positive response," Strickland said. "I'm very excited that we got first."

"The first place is mixed in with a lot of other things that have happened today," Gaither said. "Not only is the fact that we got first place really awesome, but the fact that this sort of research is ongoing and people are highly excited about it and want to have discussions about it is, too."

Two "people's choice" awards were given as well, regardless of discipline. These went to Nicholas Seekely for his media arts and students presentation, "Max Impulse," and to Sarah Acomb for her environmental and plant biology presentation, "The Magic 8: Novel Genes Involved in Gravitropic Signal Transduction."

The Honors Tutorial College awarded its own "student's choice" award to Daniel Garrett for his economics and business presentation "Smuggling and Corruption: An Examination of the Brazilian Mahogany Trade."

For a full list of awards, see the expo website at


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