CAS undergraduate excellence recognized at SURCA
Students in the College of Arts and Sciences took home almost half of all the 2022 Showcase for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities (SURCA) awards.
SURCA is a WSU-wide event for students from all majors and all WSU campuses to share their faculty mentored activities, and receive feedback from independent judges on their presentation.
At this year’s event, 140 students from four campuses were among those accepted to present 112 posters. Faculty, postdoctoral students, and community experts used a common rubric to evaluate and score presentations across nine SURCA categories.
At the awards ceremony, 15 of the 33 awards went to CAS students, plus one more for an interdisciplinary project with a CAS faculty mentor. Combined, the 33 SURCA awards included nearly $8,000 in prize money to support continuing efforts.
Showcasing high-impact activity and learning
“It is always a pleasure to see what our students are researching, and to have them together to present in person in one room again this year was great,” said Jeremy Lessmann, director of the WSU Office of Undergraduate Research and a chemistry faculty member.
“Undergraduate research is vital to our university as a high-impact activity that enriches every student’s academic pursuits, and to host SURCA as the premier place to showcase their work is both an honor and a tradition,” said William Davis, interim vice provost for academic engagement and student achievement.
SURCA 2022 awardees
Four levels of awards in each SURCA category are available: the top Crimson Award, followed by the Gray Award, plus additional honors recognizing early-career awards for first-year and sophomore students and novice researcher awards for those engaged in a project for two semesters or less.
By SURCA category, the students awardees in the College of Arts and Sciences are:
Organismal, Population, Ecological Evolutionary Biology
- Randi Richards, biology (WSU Vancouver)
“The Distribution and Genetics of Resistance to UV Irradiation in Nitrogen Fixing Soil Bacteria”
Faculty Mentor: Stephanie Porter, biological sciences
- Alexander Iritani, environmental and ecosystem sciences
“Influence of Egg Size and Egg Metabolism on Survival and Fitness of Chinook Salmon Embryos”
Faculty Mentor: Michael Phelps, animal sciences
Molecular, Cellular, and Chemical Biology
- Alexandra Malena, neuroscience and psychology
“Long-Term Effects of Maternal Cannabis Use on Offspring Emotional Reactivity and Anxiety-like Behavior in Rats”
Faculty Mentor: Ryan McLaughlin, neuroscience
- Evelyn Rowe, basic medical sciences; Honors College
“Insulin-mediated Antiviral Immunity to WNV Using the Drosophila melanogaster”
Faculty Mentors: Alan Goodman and Chasity Trammell, molecular biosciences
- Stephen Fawcett, microbiology and Spanish; Honors College
“Characterization of Novel Cell Lines for Viral Infection Assays”
Faculty Mentor: Michael Letko, global animal health
- Justine Strickler, biology and neuroscience
“Genetic Drift of the C57BL6/J Mouse Supports a Role of the Cerebellum in Genetic Predilection to Alcohol Use Disorder”
Faculty Mentor: David Rossi, integrative physiology
- Olivia Willis, neuroscience and psychology; Honors College
“Exploring the Stereotypes of Scientists in Fourth Through Eighth Grade Students”
Faculty Mentor: Xianming Shi, civil and environmental engineering
Staff Mentor: Cheryl Reed, WSU communications
- Maya Nuno, neuroscience and psychology; Honors College
“Sex Differences in the Drinking Behavior of Dependent and Non-dependent Rodents”
Faculty Mentor: Angela Henricks, psychology
- Lauren Forseth, biology
“Multifunctional Hierarchically Porous Materials for the One-pot Fixation of CO2 with Alkenes”
Faculty Mentor: Qiang Zhang, chemistry
- Ivy Woltering, environmental and ecosystem sciences
“Analyzing Post-wildfire Regeneration Via Satellite Remote Sensing in the Umatilla National Forest”
Mentor: Arjan Meddens, environment
Engineering and Physical Sciences
- Christine Lovingier, chemistry
“PSMA Targeted Turn On Probe for Imaging Cargo Release in Prostate Cancer Cells”
Faculty Mentor: Cliff Berkman, chemistry
- Emma Speight, physics
“Dynamics of Ordering of Conductive Polymer Films Printed Under Controlled Airflow”
Faculty Mentor: Brian Collins, physics and astronomy
- Joshua Bilsky, chemistry and physics; Honors College
“Statistical Analysis of Brownian Motion Data Published in Jean Perrin’s Book ‘Les Atomes’”
Faculty Mentor: Fred Gittes, physics and astronomy
- Caitlin Ottaway and Matteya Proctor, neuroscience and psychology; Honors College, and Cheyenne Schneider, neuroscience and psychology
“Sleep Loss and Risk Taking: An Integrative Review”
Faculty Mentors: Courtney Kurinec, John Hinson, and Paul Whitney, psychology
- Mollee Gray, neuroscience; Honors College
“The Relationship Between Somatic Markers and Working Memory in Risky Decision Making”
Faculty Mentors: Paul Whitney and John Hinson, psychology
- Brianna Cabral, criminal justice and psychology
“Public Safety Employee Experiences During the COVID-19 Pandemic”
Mentor: David Makin, criminal justice and criminology
- Sierra Sumner, psychology (Global Campus)
“Trauma Bonding in the Family-of-Origin”
Mentor: Lee Daffin, psychology
See the full list of SURCA 2022 winners on the SURCA website.
Top photo: Award winners for SURCA 2022 pose together for a group photo on the stage of the CUB auditorium (photo by WSU Photo Services).
By Beverly Makhani for WSU Insider