URAD/CES winners announced

Over 230 NIU students displayed their research skills, discoveries and artistry on Wednesday, April 17, during the university’s ninth annual Undergraduate Research and Artistry Day (URAD). Many others highlighted their important work with community-based service projects during the Community Engagement Showcase (CES). Descriptions of all student projects are available online in the URAD/CES Program.

With the help of over 50 volunteer jjudges consisting of NIU faculty, staff and alumni, presenters were rated on their poster presentation or exhibit’s overall design, relevance of the project, appropriate methods used, and interaction at the poster or exhibit. Judges play a critical role in these events, providing students with critical feedback on their presentations.

NIU recognized the following award winners at the conclusion of the combined events:

URAD Arts, Education, Health, Humanities and Social Sciences Posters

  • First place: Diana Jarocki (Poster #16). “The Relationship Between Pediatric Reading Disorders and Visual-Vestibular Anomalies.” Department: Allied Health and Communicative Disorders. Faculty mentor: Blythe Kitner.
  • Second place: Gabriel Sonntag (Poster #70). “The Beginning of Gay Liberation at NIU: Lesbian and Gay Huskies in the 1970s and 1980s.” Department: History. Faculty mentor: Amanda Littauer.
  • Third place: Rami Lake (Poster #96). “Chutes and Ladders: Testing the Efficacy of Machine Learning in Tracking Footfalls of Rats on Horizontal Ladder Rung Walking Task.” Department: Psychology. Faculty mentor: Douglas Wallace.

URAD Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Posters

  • First place: James Holmes (Poster #53). “Determining the pH Dependency of Maltose-MBP Interaction.” Department: Chemistry and Biochemistry. Faculty mentor: Jim Horn.
  • Second place: Katherine Hahn-Boisvert (Poster #25). “Study of the Role of the Protein Crag in Epithelial Cell Polarity.” Department: Biological Sciences. Faculty mentor: Olivier Devergne.
  • Third place: Zane LaCasse (Poster #37). “Development of Near IR Phthalocyanine Sensing System for EGFR.” Department: Chemistry and Biochemistry. Faculty mentor: Irina Nesterova.

URAD Exhibits

  • First place: Oriana Flores (Exhibit #200). “Creating Environments that Matter: A Historical and Present-Day View of Student Engagement at Northern Illinois University.” Department: Counseling, Adult and Higher Education. Faculty mentor: Renique Kersh.
  • Second place: Emily Fried (Exhibit #204). “Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the Media Strategies of the Diverse 116th US Congress.” Department: Communication. Faculty mentor: Laura Vazquez.
  • Third place: Aaron Garcia (Exhibit #202). “Development of a Graphical User Interface (GUI) for an Arduino-based Temperature Control System.” Department: Mechanical Engineering. Faculty mentor: Ji-Chul Ryu.

CES Award Winners

  • First place: Maria Aristeo, Hannah Schaumberg and Keshawn Wright (Poster #308). “Conversation Cafes-Diversity Dialogues.” Organization: Office of Academic Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Mentors: Jocelyn Santana and Erin Wilhelm.
  • Second place: Albert Castrejon, Monica Lopez, Angel Reyes and Monserrat Rosales (Poster #304). “The Effects of College Preparatory Classes for Latino Students.” Organization: Parent University. Mentors: Susana Das Neves and Araceli Lopez Zavala.
  • Third place: Karen Gonzalez-Jimenez, Itsel Torres Ramirez, Fernando Sotelo and Pablo Valencia Garcia (Poster #309). “Shared Meals and the Positive Effects on Mental Health.” Organization: Wesley Foundation at NIU: Hungry Huskies. Mentor(s): Christina Abreu.

Humanities Award (presented by the humanities group of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences)

  • First place: Sarah Castle (Poster #81). “The Moral Relevance of the Doing and Allowing Harm Distinction.” Department: Philosophy. Faculty mentor: Jason Hanna.
  • Second place: Jeremiah Knoll (Poster #72). “Still They Tempt Us”: Confederate Resistance Strategies in Union Prisons.” Department: History. Faculty mentor: Brian Sandberg.
  • Third place: Anna Rdzok (Poster #83). “Idealism, God and Spinoza: Combining Views.” Department: Philosophy. Faculty mentor: Craig Warmke.

URAD PCSOGI (presented by the Presidential Commission on Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity)

  • First place: Gabriel Sonntag. “The Beginning of Gay Liberation at NIU: Lesbian and Gay Huskies in the 1970s and 1980s.” Department: History. Faculty Mentor: Amanda Littauer.
  • Second place: Ronan Kaiser. “Twelve in Two Weeks!” Northern Illinois University Student Reactions to National and International Violence in May 1970.” Department: History. Faculty mentor: Amanda Littauer.

For more information, contact the Office of Student Engagement and Experiential Learning at 815-753-8154 or engage@niu.edu.

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