Excellence on display at the 2017 Undergraduate Research Symposium

On April 20, 2017, the college hosted its ninth annual Undergraduate Research Symposium. As usual, the room buzzed with conversation between presenters, faculty judges, mentors, advisors, friends and family who gathered to take part in the scholarly discourse and support the presenters.

Undergraduate Research Symposium poster presentationsElizabeth Kalinowski Ohrt, director of advising for the college, shared that the Undergraduate Research Symposium is her "favorite event of the year. We have such great students and it's awesome to see so many of them all in one place."    

The 2017 Undergraduate Research Symposium showcased the work of 68 students, 10 students in oral presentations and 58 poster presentations. Each student worked with a faculty mentor throughout their project and many with support from the Mason Office of Student Scholarship, Creative Activities and Research (OSCAR).

The symposium concludes with the presentation of awards. This year, the college awarded $500 for best overall research and scholarship in both the oral and poster categories, as well as four additional awards of $250 for outstanding presentation.   

Associate dean, Michele Schweitz, poses alongside global affairs major, Kelsie Rohler, and her poster presentation

Dean Deborah Boehm-Davis summed up the feelings of many in the room as she welcomed everyone to the award ceremony, saying, "The College, and I, greatly value this impressive display of your research and scholarship. We believe that developing research and critical thinking skills are hallmarks of a liberal arts education, and we hope that your experience of conducting and presenting your projects has been a valuable extension of your studies here at Mason."

Congratulations again and, as Dean Boehm-Davis said at the award ceremony, "Thank you for representing the College of Humanities and Social Sciences so well." 

The 2017 Award Winners are: 

  • Best Overall Research and Scholarship in the Oral Presentation Category: Matthew Eiman (Relationship of Sleep Efficiency to Cognitive and Cardiovascular Performance)
  • Best Overall Research and Scholarship in the Poster Presentation Category: Alexis Garretson (Analysis of Coyote Activity Around Waste Disposal Site and Management Implications)
  • Outstanding Poster Presentations:
  • Muneeba Azam (The Effect of Guardianship and Place Management on Customer Confidence)
  • Hannah Matangos (The Christianization of Pagan Ritual Space in Byzantine Athens)
  • Selena Chaivaranon (Transformers: Translating Values Through the Creation Process)
  • Fatgezim Bela (Computational Neuroscience: Tracing Neurons from the Fruit Fly Larva)