California State University, Long Beach
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CSULB Garners Most Awards at Student Research Competition

Published: June 6, 2016

The 30th Annual CSU Statewide Student Research Competition held at Cal State Bakersfield on April 29-30 saw CSULB’s student research team achieve at a high level.

“All 10 students presented their research and creative activity at a very high level,” said Cecile Lindsay, vice provost for Academic Affairs and dean of Graduate Students. “Our campus received more awards than any other. I am proud that our university provides opportunities for students to collaborate with faculty on research and creative topics of such relevance and importance.”

The event is a student academic conference featuring oral presentations to an audience of fellow students and a jury of distinguished faculty.

“Students with the best presentations in each category win cash prizes, certificates and an impressive entry for their resumes,” said Lindsay.

“This kind of success confirms a tradition of strong faculty-student collaboration on research and creative activity,” she added. “Competitions like these help give students the skill set they need to be scholars. It is important to network and learn what it is like to be a professional in a field. It hones their professional skills.”

Presenters included:

  • Colette Brown (BFA/art–sculpture), who was recognized with a first-place award for her paper “Art against Dementia: Expected Outcomes of an Intervention for Healthy Older Adults” (humanities and letters and creative arts and design, undergraduate and graduate).
  • Jessica Asbell (M.S./physics and astronomy), who earned a first-place award for her paper “Non-Radial Pulsation Modes of Neutron Stars and Strange Quark Stars” (physical and mathematical sciences, graduate).
  • Saba Mojtahedi (M.A. candidate in economics), who earned a first-place award for her paper “The Effects of California Solar Initiative Rebates on Solar Energy Adoption,” (business, economics and public administration, undergraduate and graduate).
  • Cassandra Gearhart (M.A./psychology), who earned a first-place award for “The Influence of Sexual Assault Characteristics on Survivor’s Coping Strategies over Time” (behavioral and social science, graduate).
  • Quang Ly (B.S./chemical engineering), who earned a second-place award for “Quantum Mechanics Simulation of Fe-N-C” (engineering and computer science, undergraduate).
  • Avery Andrus (M.S. candidate in biology), who presented “Cellular and Proteomic Characterization of the Innate Immune Response in Wasting Bat Stars” (biological and agricultural sciences, graduate).
  • Alan Gomez (M.A./French), who presented “Translating the culturally (UN) translatable: The English Translation of Houellebecq’s Soumission” (humanities and letters, graduate).
  • Eunji Kong (M.A./psychology), who presented “Support Providers’ Helpful and Unhelpful Interactions with Sexual Assault Survivors” (health, nutritional and clinical sciences, undergraduate and graduate).
  • Yasmine Lindskrog (BFA/dance), who presented “Spontaneity: Emergence Theory in Relation to Dance Improvisation” (humanities and letters and creative arts and design, undergraduate and graduate).
  • Dominica Sciabetta (M.S./counseling), who presented “But the Greatest of these is Love: How Staff Members Negotiate Their Relationships with LGBTQ Students at Christ-Centered Institutions” (education, undergraduate and graduate).

The process of CSULB’s nearly 30-year participation begins with a campus competition that resembles its annual statewide counterpart. Ten CSULB students are selected by Lindsay for the statewide competition sponsored by CSULB in 2012 which promotes excellence in undergraduate and graduate scholarly research throughout the 23 CSU campuses.

Past participation is key, according to Lindsay.

“I’ve been doing this more than 20 years,” she recalled. “When I first started out, students were making presentations using slide carousels and overhead projection. Today, the level of sophistication has grown exponentially. The level of poise the students bring is a testimony to the quality of their faculty.”

Student feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.

“They love it,” she said. “They get to feel like professionals. They present before judges and their peers. They listen to top-notch researchers in their fields from all across the CSU system. Many of the participating students take their skill sets into careers in the classroom. Many go on into doctoral programs.”

She sees CSULB continuing to participate in the CSU student research competition. “I absolutely want us to continue,” she said. “The competition has been scheduled for the next five years with next year being held at CSU San Luis Obispo. I think we’ve got a well-oiled machine here. We always come home with at least one or two winners. This was a banner year.”