Undergraduate researchers earn 2021 awards

SURCA: Showcase for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities.Nearly 150 students from the Pullman, Vancouver, Spokane, and Global campuses were selected to present their faculty-mentored research, scholarship, and creative activities and compete for prizes at the the 9th annual SURCA event.

Fifteen CAS students won 10 different awards across seven categories at the 2021 event held online at the end of March.

“All students accepted to present at SURCA are eagerly engaged in high-impact, mentored research with their mentors, and are helping to reinforce WSU’s standing as a top-tier research institution,” said Mary Sanchez Lanier, assistant vice provost. “The Office of Undergraduate Research is honored to host the SURCA event, a WSU tradition where students share their work with judges and the public.”

The CAS student awardees are:

Arts and Design

Gray Award
Lucas Blevins
“A Moment in Time: Original Composition for Orchestra”
Faculty mentor Greg Yasinitsky (music)

Engineering and Physical Sciences

Novice Award
Ellen Hilbun
“Modeling the Effects of Cardiac Arrhythmias”
Faculty mentor: Sergey Lapin (mathematics and statistics)


Crimson Award
Katya Farinsky, Jazz Jackson, Drew Swanson, and Andrew Thompson
“Quest for Arete”
Faculty mentor: Dene Grigar (creative media and digital culture)

Molecular, Cellular, and Chemical Biology

Gray Award
John Burkland
“The Effect of Systemic TLR4 Inhibition on Spontaneous Opiate Withdrawal in the Mouse”
Faculty mentor: Raymond Quock (psychology)

Organismal, Population, Ecological, and Evolutionary Biology

Novice Award
Megan Johnsen
“Ensure® Consumption vs. Noxious Stimulus-Evoked Behaviors as Measures of Pain in Female and Male Rats”
Faculty mentor: Rebecca Craft (psychology)

Research Proposal

Crimson Award
Linda Nguyen
“Novel Institution Care for the Senior Population to Reduce Chronic Pain and Stress”
Faculty mentor: Erica Crespi (biological sciences)

Gray Award
Justin Knutson
“Information About IAT Reliability and Its Effect on Perceived Validity”
Faculty mentor: Lee Daffin (psychology)

Kyla Quale
“Effect of Leptin on Wound Healing in Xenopus laevis in the Presence of Aeromonas hydrophil”
Faculty mentor: Erica Crespi (biological sciences)

Social Sciences

Gray award
Caitlin Ottaway, Amaya Pelagio, and Cheyenne Schneider
“Sleep Loss and Risky Decision Making: An Integrative Review”
Faculty mentors: John Hinson and Paul Whitney (psychology)

Amina Ahnach
“When Women of Color Express Strong Opinions via Email in Workplace Conflict: Perceptions & Attitudes”
Faculty mentor: Lee Daffin (psychology)

See the full list of awardees and the abstract book at the WSU SURCA website.

By Beverly Makhani for WSU Insider