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University Libraries announces Student Expo awardees for 2023

Mimi Calhoun
May 1, 2023

The annual Ohio University Student Research and Creativity Expo returned to in-person once more this year, as students, staff and faculty visited the Convocation Center to view the immersive research work done by the students. Every year, the Student Expo highlights some of the best undergraduate and graduate work that students at Ohio University have to offer. 

Cash and other prizes are available for competition, and University Libraries was pleased to be able to present 10 of its annual awards to seven undergraduates and three graduates and, which are supported by the Vernon R. and Marion Alden Endowment. Maggie Bennink, Sarah Romer, Taylor Burnette, Lauren Slanker, Joseph Morell, Cheyenne Knavel and Noel Rozic were the undergraduate awardees while Edgar Gomez, Ryan Steere and Maria Mugeni were the awardees for the graduate category. Recipients of the endowment are students who utilize the many resources that University Libraries has to offer for their research or creative project.

Check out photos by Charlie Nick, graduate assistant in photography for University Libraries, of the expo, awardees and participants below:

Photograph overlooking the Convo during the 2023 Expo
On Thursday, April 13, students gathered in the Convocation Center to present their individual projects at the 2023 Student Expo. Students set up “stations” for people to visit and hear about their work on what typically is the basketball court. The Student Expo annually highlights creative works, student research and scholarships. It also provides community members, faculty, staff and students the ability to see how students are expanding their knowledge.


Maria Mugeni at the Student Expo with Dean Neil Romanosky
Maria Mugeni, a graduate student working toward a master’s in geography, presents to Neil Romanosky, the dean of University Libraries. Mugeni was the recipient of the Libraries’ first-place graduate award for her project on the impact of floods entitled, “A gendered perspective on climate change and flood risks in urban informal spaces; Kibera informal settlement, Nairobi, Kenya.”


Joseph Morell, winner of a libraries award, poses with library dean Neil Romanosky at the 2023 Expo
Joseph Morell, a senior studying transitional health, poses with Neil Romanosky, dean of University Libraries, for a photo in front of Morell’s trifold of work. Morell won the second-place undergraduate award presented by Ohio University Libraries for the project, “Therapeutic Effects of Cannabidoil in Diabetes Mellitus.” His work focuses on cannabidiol in relation to diabetes.


Tristen Luken's project for the 2023 Expo
Tristen Luken, a senior studying printmaking, won the Librarian’s Choice award for the project, which fell under the category of Undergraduate Studio Art – Printmaking, titled “Root of the Matter.” Luken is a fourth-generation Bobcat, so the project concentrated on family connection and Athens, Ohio. In addition to the Luken family archive, printmaking, bookmaking and paper making were utilized to bring the pieces of the project together.


Taylor Burnette talks with dean Neil Romanosky about her research for the 2023 Expo
Taylor Burnette, a senior studying journalism, presents her project “From Styx to Margaret Boyd: Digital Exhibits utilizing Ohio University Archives” at the 2023 Student Expo on Thursday, April 13. Burnette won the second-place Libraries Connection Award presented by Ohio University Libraries for her project on historic archives and educational digital exhibits.


Ryan Steere discusses his project with library dean Neil Romanosky
Ryan Steere, a graduate student working toward a master’s in biological sciences, was the recipient of the Libraries’ second-place graduate award for the project “Investigating the Global Impact of DNA Supercoiling on Staphylococcus aureus Gene Expression.” Steere’s research aims to help better understand how bacteria’s DNA shape impacts human disease.


Lauren Slanker presents her research to Neil Romanosky at the 2023 Expo
Lauren Slanker, a senior studying psychology, presents the project “Inclusive Study Spaces” to Neil Romanosky, dean of University Libraries. Slanker won the third place Libraries Connection Award presented by Ohio University Libraries for her project on inclusive study spaces.

Photos by Charlie Nick / Ohio University Libraries