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Voinovich students Grace Fuchs and Lindsey Edmunds gather with other students to talk about their projects at the Science and Creativity Expo on April 12, 2018.
Voinovich students Grace Fuchs and Lindsey Edmunds gather with other students to talk about their projects at the Science and Creativity Expo on April 12, 2018.

Voinovich students win big at 2018 research expo

Daniel Kington
May 1, 2018

Voinovich School students collected 13 awards for research related to their studies at the School during the Ohio University Student Research and Creative Activity Exposition on April 12. The school was well represented at the expo, with 29 posters and presentations demonstrating a variety of interests and research initiatives.

Students present research findings or creative projects at the expo. Entries from Voinovich students — including master’s students and Undergraduate Research Scholars — covered topics ranging from cultivating bacteria to help turn waste into fuel to an evaluation of the Ohio-based Law and Leadership Institute. Faculty and staff support these scholars as they dig into their subjects and provide insights applicable in the real world.

Bethany N. Bella, Voinovich Scholar, stands with her poster analyzing ecotourism's potential for empowerment.Undergraduate Research Scholar Bethany N. Bella, who will graduate from Ohio University in May with a bachelor of specialized studies in feminist political ecology, connected her departmental research in women’s, gender and sexuality studies with her work as a Voinovich scholar to examine the potential of ecotourism for women’s empowerment. Bella was “totally shocked” to receive three first-place prizes and one second-place prize.

“I entered into multiple judging sessions to practice my presentation skills and to diversify my chances of recognition,” Bella said. “I had no idea I would come away from the expo with something from nearly every category I applied for.”

Bella said preparation for the Research Expo and the subsequent recognition of her work has helped to solidify her research interest at the intersection of gender and geography, which she hopes to pursue in graduate school.

Bella wasn’t the only Voinovich Scholar to rack up awards. Kathryn Gardner, a junior studying globalization and development, was recognized for her research on the issue of plastic waste in Uganda. Gardner, who has been pursuing this line of inquiry since she began work at the Voinovich School in fall 2016, said she was thrilled with the opportunity to share her work.

“Raising awareness of the issue of plastic waste is so important, and I hope my presentation was able to inspire folks to think more about their consumption of plastics,” Gardner said. “Formally presenting what I and other Ohio University students and faculty have all been working on for so long was a highlight of my second year as a Voinovich Scholar.”

Presenting her own work wasn’t the only aspect of the expo that Gardner enjoyed: “I learned so much from my peers' presentations, and I loved seeing the diversity in research topics,” Gardner said.

The Voinovich School congratulates all the award winners on their hard work and dedication to their research.

Regular session award winners from the Voinovich School (name, title, judging group):

  • First Place: Gabrielle Russell, Master of Science in Environmental Studies candidate, Voinovich Public Affairs; Tess Herman, MSES candidate, Voinovich Environmental Studies; Abbey Rodjom, Undergraduate Research Scholar, Voinovich Environmental Studies; Megan Conkle, Master of Public Administration candidate, Voinovich Public Affairs; Bethany Bella, Undergraduate Research Scholar, Voinovich Public Affairs
  • Second Place: Linsey Edmunds, MSES candidate, Voinovich Environmental Studies; Bethany Bella, Undergraduate Research Scholar, Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies

Special session award winners from the Voinovich School:

  • First Place: Tess Herman, MSES candidate, Sustainability; Abbey Rodjom, Undergraduate Research Scholar, Sustainability; Taylor Snelick, MSES candidate, Sustainability; Kathryn Gardner, Undergraduate Research Scholar, Sustainability; Bethany Bella, Undergraduate Research Scholar, Alden Library Undergraduate Research and University International Council