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Graduate Student Research Showcase Winners

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Please join us in congratulating the winners of our 2016 Graduate Student Research Showcase.

This year we received 35 submissions from graduate students across campus for the Research Showcase, which again anchored our annual Graduate Student Appreciation Week activities. Those who participated competed in one of three categories (STEM, Humanities/Social Sciences, and Professional) in our paper and poster competitions and/or in our University-wide Three-Minute Thesis competition. Whatever the competition or manner of delivery, we can report without hesitation that these graduate students displayed the highest levels of professionalism, research quality, and engagement. Indeed, the work presented this week reaffirms what we all know to be true—that our graduate students are working hard with most impressive results in their respective disciplines.

In the Paper Competition, the research of the following graduate students was recognized:

Humanities/Social Sciences Category
1st Place - Myrlene Bruno (Francophone Studies, PhD) for “Force-Bonté: Un oubli volontaire non justifié”
2nd Place - Maegan Smith (History, MA) for “Deputies vs. Chitimacha: Connecting an 1898 Land Dispute and 1901 Christmas Eve and Christmas Day Violence in Charenton, Louisiana”
3rd Place - tie - Samantha Stevens (Communications, MS) for “Tattoos as Communicators: A Study of How Specific Factors Contribute to College Students’ Negative Perceptions of Tattoos”
3rd Place - tie - Phillip Arceneaux (Communications, MS) and Masey Hammons (Educational Leadership, EdD) for “Lâche Pas La Patate: A Case Study of the Lafayette Strong Hashtag as a Gateway to the Formation of Unified Sociological Identity in the Wake of Domestic Terrorism”

STEM Category
1st Place - David Penning (Environmental and Evolutionary Biology, PhD) for “Debunking the Viper’s Strike: Harmless Snakes Kill a Common Assumption”
2nd Place - Erik Yando (Environmental and Evolutionary Biology, PhD) for “Salt Marsh-Mangrove Ecotones: Using Structural Gradients to Investigate the Effects of Woody Plant Encroachment on Plant-Soil Interactions and Ecosystem Carbon Pools”
3rd Place - Nasim Nasirian and Reza Soosahabi (both Computer Engineering, PhD) for “Traffic-Aware Power-Gating Scheme for Network-On-Chip Routers"

In the Poster Competition, the research of the following graduate students was recognized:

Humanities/Social Sciences Category
1st Place - Casey Bevens (Psychology, MS) for “Assessing Media Print Images to Elicit Self-Objectification in Viewers”

STEM Category
1st Place - Dhan Lord Fortela (Systems Engineering - CHEE, PhD) for "What If We Make Fuel Oil From Our Sanitary Sewage?”
2nd Place - Deborah Rogers (Environmental and Evolutionary Biology, PhD), “Calcium Imaging of coCultured GABAergic Interneurons with FGFR1 Knockout Astrocytes”
3rd Place - Yi Weng (Systems Engineering - ELEE, PhD) for “Nyquist-WDM PDM-64QAM Signal Generation using Interleaved DAC with Zero-Order Holding”

And, finally, in the Three-Minute Thesis Competition, our University-wide winners included:

1st Place - David Penning (Environmental and Evolutionary Biology, PhD), “Debunking the Viper's Strike”
2nd Place - Scott Jones (Environmental and Evolutionary Biology, PhD) for “Alteration of Salt Marsh Structure and Function in Response to Multiple Environmental Factors: Implications for Global Climate Change and Coastal Restoration”
3rd Place - Nicole Barry (Mechanical Engineering, MS) for “Modeling and Control of a Cable-Suspended Robot for Inspection of Vertical Structures”
People's Choice Award Winner -  David Penning (Biology, PhD) for "Debunking the Viper's Strike"

This year's Research Showcase offered not only an opportunity for our graduate students to compete, but also an opportunity for the graduate and University community to be impressed -- and, indeed, humbled -- yet again by what is happening in our graduate programs at UL Lafayette. Graduate students and graduate faculty, well done. We look forward to seeing the research that comes next year.