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Congratulations to the Libraries’ 2021 Student Expo Winners!

Libraries' 2021 Student Expo Winners Graphic
Graphic design by Victor Lowe/Ohio University Libraries

The Ohio University Student Research and Creative Activity Expo was once again virtual this year, and University Libraries was excited to give out six of its annual awards to outstanding student researchers, recognizing three graduate and three undergraduate students. The awards are supported by the Libraries’ Vernon R. and Marion Alden Endowment. This year, students were able to participate via social media such as Twitter and Instagram, by uploading videos, or a combination of social media and video content. 

The first-place winner in the graduate category is Cassandra Thompson, is a fifth year Ph.D. candidate in the Biological Sciences Department with a focus on ecology and evolutionary biology. For the Student Expo this year, Thompson created a three-minute video presentation, titled “Pesticides: The Good, the Bad, & the Frogs,” about her research on wood frogs.

“Broadly, I study how different environmental stressors like climate change & chemical pollutants’ impact amphibians at multiple life stages,” she said. 

The second-place winner, Anika Gurrola, is a master’s student in the environmental studies program. Her presentation was titled, “An Analysis of Stream Restoration Through the Floodplain Reconnection Method,” and was about her thesis research. For Gurrola’s research, she looked at streams that had been restored by being reconnected to a flood plain, which creates a complete, healthier ecosystem. 

The third-place winner in the graduate category was Prateek Kulkarni, a third year Ph.D. student who studies the effect of growth hormones on parts of cancer cells. He works with Dr. John Kopchick in the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine, and for this year’s Expo, he created a short video on his research

In the undergraduate category, first place winner was Audrey Peters, a senior in the Honors Tutorial College, majoring in translational health, specializing in exercise physiology. For her honors thesis, Peters studied new therapies to integrate into working with children with autism.

“We’re looking at treatments that will help improve the quality of their lives. My focus is something called proprioception – that’s the sense of your body’s location in space,” she said. 

Peters’ presentation was titled “Autism & Occupational Therapy: Effects of Proprioceptive Interventions on Behaviors in Children with Autism.” 

“When I saw that I won first place, I thought, ‘This can’t be real, how did I do that?’ and it gave me some reassurance about what I’m doing and made me feel excited that people recognize my work,” she said.

Riley Corrigan, who is also majoring in translational health in the Honors Tutorial College, and Zoe Johanni, who studies exercise physiology in the School of Applied Health Sciences and Wellness, won second place in the undergraduate category. Their presentation was titled, “Impact of COVID-19 Stay-at-Home Restrictions on Employment Status, Physical Activity and Sedentary Behavior Changes.” Along with Dr. Cheryl Howe, they assessed potential changes in physical activity and behavior due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The third-place undergraduate winner was Alexis Lowe, a senior Honors Tutorial College student who studied why some people emerge as leaders and how effective these leaders are, specifically in college. Her presentation was titled “The Making of Leaders: An Examination of the Relationship between Emergent and Effective Leadership Behavior at the Collegiate Level.” 

University Libraries offers many students the resources and information they need to complete their research and to succeed in their studies. 

“We are very lucky at Ohio University to have many resources available to access the information and literature we need to complete our creative research projects,” said Thompson.