Showcase awards presented to undergraduate researchers

2024 SURCA recipients gathered on stage for a group photo.
Fifty-three students at the Showcase for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities (SURCA) 2024 were the recipients of 49 awards totaling $10,900.

Fifty-three students at the Showcase for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities (SURCA) 2024 were the recipients of 49 awards totaling $10,900, announced the Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR), host of the March 25 event.

“We enjoyed more than 200 exceptional posters this year from students who study and research at all six campuses, and those who received awards were judged to have delivered the very top presentations on their research, scholarship, and creative activities,” said Jeremy Lessmann, OUR director.

Held since 2012, SURCA is the only WSU-wide venue for students system-wide in every major and year in college to share their mentored research. The number of 2024 presenters and judges set new records, Lessmann said. Some presented in pairs or groups.

The award ceremony was led by WSU Provost and Executive Vice President, and WSU Pullman Chancellor Elizabeth Chilton; interim Vice Provost for Academic Engagement and Student Achievement William B. Davis; WSU Pullman Vice Chancellor for Academic Engagement Clif Stratton; Assistant Vice Provost Mary Sánchez Lanier; and Lessman.

Abstracts and additional information about each SURCA presenter are available online.

By SURCA categories in alphabetical order, each awardee’s name, campus, major, mentor, and project titles are presented below:


Applied Sciences

Crimson

  • Simon Scheel
    WSU Pullman
    Chemistry
    Mentor: Liane Moreau

    “Developing Neutron Irradiation as a Method to Synthesize Controlled, Unprecedented Metal Alloy Nanoparticles”
  • Jacob Buursma
    WSU Pullman
    Neuroscience, Honors College
    Mentor: Kristen Delevich

    “Long-term Effects of Adolescent Cannabis Vapor Exposure on Corticostriatal Circuits Responsible for Decision Making”

Gray

  • Avery Pruitt
    WSU Pullman
    Neuroscience
    Mentor: Rita Fuchs

    David Soto
    WSU Pullman
    Neuroscience
    Mentor: Rita Fuchs

    “Cell Type of Dorsal Raphe to Basolateral Amygdala Projecting Neurons Involved in Cocaine-memory Reconsolidation”

Arts and Design

Crimson

  • Jasper Willson
    WSU Pullman
    Multimedia Journalism, Honors College
    Mentor: Lisa Waananen Jones

    “Forest on Fire: A Documentary About the Changing Relationship of Fire in the Sequoia Ecosystems”

Gray

  • Amanda Moed
    WSU Pullman
    Apparel, Merchandising, Design and Textiles
    Mentor: Armine Ghalachyan

    “Adaptive Weighted Jacket”

Computer Science, Mathematics, Statistics, and Information Sciences

Crimson

  • Nicholas Kraabel
    WSU Pullman
    Computer Science, Economic Sciences
    Mentor: Kirti Rajagopalan

    “Advancing Hourly Temperature Disaggregation for Agroecosystems Modeling: LSTM-based Approach”

Gray

  • Nicholas Mayer
    WSU Pullman
    Architectural Studies
    Mentor: Julia Day, Shelby Ruiz

    “Empowering Efficiency: Tech-Driven Sustainability”

Engineering and Physical Sciences

Crimson

  • Yecenia Cortez
    WSU Pullman
    Biology
    Mentor: Xiaofeng Guo

    “Synthesis, Characterization, and Thermodynamic Study of Rare Eu(II) Materials”
  • Jesus Jimenez
    WSU Pullman
    Mechanical Engineering
    Mentor: Hui Li

    Harish Varatharaj
    WSU Pullman
    Mechanical Engineering
    Mentor: Hui Li

    “Novel Composites from Recycled Wind Turbine Blade Materials: Physical, Mechanical, and/Fire Performance”

Gray

  • Dylan Suina
    WSU Pullman
    Mechanical Engineering, Honors College
    Mentor: Jeffrey Bell

    “Modifying 3D Printed Carbon-infused Thermoplastics for Applications in Potentiometry”
  • Suzanne Gelston
    WSU Pullman
    Chemical Engineering, Honors College
    Mentor: Dilara Ozdemir

    Carolina Perez
    WSU Pullman
    Bioengineering
    Mentor: Dilara Ozdemir

    “In Vitro Activity of HOCl Generating Scaled-up Electrochemical Bandages”
  • Kenneth Goody
    WSU Pullman
    Chemistry
    Mentor: Anjali Sharma

    “PSMA-targeted Dendrimer as an Efficient Anticancer Drug Delivery Vehicle for Prostate Cancer”
  • Liam Crafton
    WSU Pullman
    Mathematics, Physics, and Astronomy
    Mentor: Qingze Guan

    “Chaotic Spin Dynamics of Spin-1 Bose-Einstein Condensates with Broken Conservation of Magnetization”

Early Career

  • Connor Reschke
    WSU Pullman
    Materials Science and Engineering, Spanish, Honors College
    Mentor: Hui Li

    “Recycling Wood Waste with Particleboard and Pelleting”

Humanities

Crimson

  • Akira Park
    WSU Pullman
    English
    Mentor: Ashley Boyd

    “Analyzing the Inclusion of and Teacher Practices Around Asian-American Literature in English Language Arts Classrooms”

Gray

  • Samuel Neunzig
    WSU Pullman
    Human Biology
    Mentor: John Blong

    “New Views on Ancient Coprolites: Non-destructive Analysis Using μCT 3D Imaging”
  • Matthew Bunge
    WSU Pullman
    Economic Sciences, Honors College
    Mentor: Shawna Herzog

    “Britain’s Financial Revolution and Class Exploitation, 1689 – 1740”

Molecular, Cellular, and Chemical Biology

Crimson

  • Ally Richards
    WSU Pullman
    Microbiology, Honors College
    Mentor: Sean McGuire

    “Investigating the Role of Protein-protein Interaction of GPAT9 in Arabidopsis thaliana
  • Tyrique Lewis
    WSU Pullman
    Microbiology
    Mentor: Bronwyn Gunn

    “Engineering the Fc Domain of Antibodies to Better Control SARS-CoV-2”
  • Sydney Ackerman
    WSU Pullman
    Neuroscience
    Mentor: Giuseppe Giannotti

    “Contributions of the Prelimbic Cortex to Paraventricular Thalamus Pathway to Heroin Relapse”
  • Megan Dines
    WSU Pullman
    Biology
    Mentor: Michael Konkel

    Campylobacter jejuni Secretion Mechanism Promotes Host Cell Invasion, Leading to Cases of Human Gastroenteritis and Guillain-Barré Syndrome”
  • Geselle Sotelo Mendoza
    WSU Pullman
    Microbiology
    Mentor: Anders Omsland

    “Analysis of the Formation of Infectious Elementary Bodies in the Human Bacterial Pathogen Chlamydia trachomatis with Florescence Microscopy”

Gray

  • Riana Abeshima
    WSU Pullman
    Neuroscience
    Mentor: Ryan McLaughlin

    “Effects of Stress and Cannabis Use on Stress-induced Activation of Lateral Habenula Neurons in Rats”
  • Corin Yanke
    WSU Pullman
    Biochemistry
    Mentor: Ryan Driskell

    “The Effect of Skin Carcinogenesis on Epidermal Architecture”
  • Lauren Benjamin
    WSU Pullman
    Neuroscience, Honors College
    Mentor: Emily Qualls-Creekmore

    Hailey Landsparger
    WSU Pullman
    Neuroscience, Honors College
    Mentor: Emily Qualls-Creekmore

    “Identification of Neural Circuits That Participate in Stress Habituation”
  • Mya Mackowski
    WSU Pullman
    Biochemistry
    Mentor: Miguel Rosas

    “Investigating the Correlation Between Root Hairs and Nitrate Uptake in Brachypodium distachyon
  • Stevie Fawcett
    WSU Pullman
    Microbiology, Spanish, Honors College
    Mentor: Stephanie Seifert

    “In vitro Tool Development for the Study of Hantaviruses”
  • Ashley Brightman
    WSU Pullman
    Biochemistry
    Mentor: Heather Koehler

    “New Vaccines Against Pox Viruses: Are MVA vaccines efficient in neutralizing infection safely and effectively?”
  • Anthony DeLuca
    WSU Pullman
    Agricultural Biotechnology
    Mentors: Sapinder Bali, Cynthia Gleason

    “Identification and Characterization of Two Novel Meloidogyne chitwoodi Effectors”
  • Eva Rickard
    WSU Pullman
    Data Analytics, Honors College
    Mentor: Sascha Duttke

    “Decoding Gene Regulatory Networks Associated with Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia”

Early Career

  • Jasmin Chu
    WSU Pullman
    Neuroscience, Honors College
    Mentor: Kristen Delevich

    “Microglial Ablation Effects on Adolescent Behavioral Flexibility”
  • Sara Burres
    WSU Pullman
    Biology, Zoology
    Mentor: Sara Westbrook

    “Long-Term Effects of Adolescent Cannabis Vapor on Parvalbumin Interneurons and Perineuronal Nets in the Medial Prefrontal Cortex”

Organismal, Population, Ecological, and Evolutionary Biology

Crimson

  • Molly Greiner
    WSU Pullman
    Biochemistry, Honors College
    Mentor: Hanna Delgado

    “Characterizing symbiotic rhizobia isolated from native Trifolium”
  • Olivia DeGrave
    WSU Pullman
    Biochemistry
    Mentor: Erica Crespi

    “Investigating the Role of Leptin in Tail Regeneration: Validation of a New Method of Administration”

Gray

  • HarleyJo Holman
    WSU Pullman
    Wildlife Ecology and Conservation Sciences, Honors College
    Mentors: Lisa Shipley, Leah Brueggeman

    “Mountain Caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou) Habitat in the South Selkirks: Zonal Shifts in Dynamic Landscapes”
  • Arthur Kearney
    WSU Pullman
    Forestry
    Mentor: Robert Andrus

    “Constructing a Chronology of Defoliator Pests in North America Using Dendrochronology”

Early Career

  • Braeden Stiffler
    WSU Pullman
    Biochemistry, Honors College
    Mentor: Janice Parks

    “How Pea-canola Intercropping (Peaola) Changes Soil Inorganic Nitrogen Content”

Novice

  • Mila Singson
    WSU Pullman
    Wildlife Ecology and Conservation Sciences
    Mentor: Jennifer Phillips

    “How Distance From Sensory Pollutants Affects Avian Survival”

Research Proposal

Crimson

  • Zakora Moore
    WSU Pullman
    Bioengineering
    Mentor: Bernard Van Wie

    “Direct Transfection of Autologous Melanocytes in a Perfusion Bioreactor for Cellular Transplantation to Repigment Vitiligous Skin”

Gray

  • Areli Orozco
    WSU Pullman
    Psychology
    Mentor: Olusola Adesope

    “Exploring Anxiety Among First-Generation, Culturally Diverse College Students”
  • Ethan Johnson
    WSU Pullman
    Biology
    Mentor: Cliff Berkman

    “Imidazoquinoline Small Molecule Drug Conjugates (SMDCs) for PSMA Targeted Prostate Cancer Immunotherapy”

Novice

  • Sydney Campbell
    WSU Pullman
    Apparel, Merchandising, Design, and Textiles
    Mentor: Armine Ghalachyan

    “Functional Headband Incorporating a Heating Unit for Pain Relief in TMD”

Social Sciences

Crimson

  • Karen Magana
    WSU Pullman
    Data Analytics
    Mentor: Michael Heim

    “Measuring Program Effectiveness of the College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP)”
  • Cara Brauen
    WSU Pullman
    Psychology
    Mentor: Angela Henricks

    “Dual-hit Hypothesis’ Impact on Corticosterone Levels Following Acute Restraint Stress Test”
  • Matteya Proctor
    WSU Pullman
    Neuroscience, Psychology, Honors College
    Mentor: Maureen Schmitter-Edgecombe

    “The Moderating Effect of Cognitive Self-Efficacy on the Relation Between Cognition and Technology-Based Health Information Search in Middle-Aged and Older Adults”

Gray

  • Isabella Santiago
    WSU Pullman
    Human Development, Psychology
    Mentor: Nicole Scalise

    “Relations Between High School Math Experiences and Current Math Attitudes and Achievement: A Self-determination Theory Perspective”
  • Sandy Tlachi-Munoz
    WSU Pullman
    Psychology
    Mentor: Jessica Willoughby

    “The Discussion Around Alcohol and Cannabis Use Among First-generation Undergraduate Students In Living Situations”
  • Androu Luzader
    WSU Pullman
    Basic Medical Sciences, Social Sciences
    Mentor: Caroline Owens

    “Assessing the College Food Insecurity  Environment”

Novice

  • Hillary Minor
    WSU Global Campus
    Psychology
    Mentor: Lee Daffin

    “An Examination of the Relationship Between Mindfulness and GPA”

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