Students present research at 16th Annual Undergraduate Research Conference and Thesis Forum

Student Experience

Kelly Raaz and Elaine Dela Pena | May 11, 2022

On April 20-22, the Honors College at Texas State University hosted the 16th Annual Undergraduate Research Conference and Thesis Forum (URC) which provides an opportunity for undergraduate students to share their research and scholarship. More than 65 undergraduate students from across disciplines presented research at the conference.

Analynn Cooper, a Nutrition and Foods senior, was awarded this year’s Scott Emerson Health Innovation Award for her research on the effect high-fat, high-sugar diets during pregnancy have on Vitamin D levels in mice offspring, and the potential implications for human health and behavior. The annual award given to one URC participant recognizes undergraduate research with a potential to improve human health and heath care. The $2,000 award is presented in collaboration with the Undergraduate Research Conference and the Translational Health Research Center.

Michael Quinto, a Manufacturing Engineering junior, won first place in the general category poster presentation for his research on the recycling process and innovative ways to repurpose unrecyclable plastics.

Sarah Bullard, a Wildlife Biology senior, performed a dietary study of Texas Spiny Softshells (Apalone spinifera emoryi) and Red-eared Sliders (Trachemys scripta elegans) from the Pecos River in West Texas.

The following student research projects won general category poster presentation awards:

  • 1st Place: Michael Quinto, Bobcats Repurpose: A Recycling Revolution, Advisor, Dr. Austin Talley, Ingram School of Engineering 
  • 2nd place: Margaret Grizzaffi, Sniffing Bacteria: Steroid Signals Integrate Olfactory Immune Function in Rainbow Trout, Advisors, Dr. Mar Huertas and Maruf Billah, Department of Biology 
  • 3rd place: Katherine Cruz, Diamond Mitchell, and Ari Rios Garza, Effects of Colorism and Racial/Ethnic Discrimination on the Educational Expectations of Latinx Youth, Advisor, Dr. Yishan Shen, School of Family and Consumer Sciences 
  • Honorable Mention: Fabiola Alonso, The Bidirectional Effects Between Mother-Child Relationship and Academic Achievement, Advisors, Dr. Priscilla Goble and Pond Ezra, School of Family and Consumer Sciences 
  • Honorable Mention: Christopher McDonald, Transcriptional Response of Copper Scavenging Proteins in the White-Nose Syndrome Pathogen, Advisor, Dr. Ryan Peterson, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
  •  Honorable Mention: German Guardiola, David Reyna, and Esteban Guerrero-Ortiz, Positive Co-Parental Communication and Its Correlation with Parental Stress in Latinx Adolescent Parents, Advisor, Dr. Norma Perez-Brena, School of Family and Consumer Sciences
  • Honorable Mention: Carson McAllister, Jacob Calhoun, and Jaylen Adams, Predictive Analysis of the Austin Texas Real Estate Market, Advisor, Dr. Tahir Ekin, Department of Computer Information Systems and Quantitative Methods

All research posters and summaries presented at the event are posted online. 

The Undergraduate Research Conference is sponsored by Honors College, the IDEA Center, the Office of Research and Special Projects, and the Common Experience.

For more information, contact University Communications:

Jayme Blaschke, 512-245-2555

Sandy Pantlik, 512-245-2922