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Undergraduate Scholar and Research Winners

Undergraduate Scholar and Research Winners

photography by Joe Raccaprintmaking work entitled Blue Jay
Pictured left: "Theory of Gravity" - photograph by Joe Racca, Sulphur
Pictured right: "Blue Jay" - printmaking by Hannah Wilson, Welsh.

(March 26, 2014) McNeese State University students have been selected to participate in the third annual University of Louisiana System Academic Summit April 11-12 on the campus of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.    

The two-day event will include an entire day focused on service-learning, a performance art showcase, a visual art exhibition and reception, and a second day focused on undergraduate research. This conference showcases academic excellence across the system's nine universities.

Forty-three students from departments across the McNeese campus competed for recognition and cash awards at the 2014 Annual Undergraduate Scholar and Research Symposium sponsored by the McNeese Alumni Association.

The top four oral presentations and the top six poster presentations have been selected to advance to the Academic Summit.

Oral presenters, their faculty mentors and departments are as follows:

•    "Monitoring Coastal Erosion at Near-shore Structures in Southwest Louisiana," by Amit Sharma of Lake Charles, Dr. Dimitrios Dermisis and Dr. Ning Zhang, Chemical, Civil and Mechanical Engineering.
•    "Influence of Forest Edge on the Occurrence and Abundance of Small Mammals," by Lindsey Arabie of Lake Charles, Dr. Justin Hoffman, Biology and Health Sciences.
•    "Initiation of a Soil Survey of Southwest Louisiana and Its Potential Forensic Applications," by Justin Higginbotham of Lake Charles and Drew Hood of Lake Charles, Richard Donahoe, Chemistry and Physics.
•    "The Politics of Translation: A Literary Experiment in Two Languages," by Maria-Josee Mendez of Lake Charles, Dr. Wendy Whelan-Stewart, English and Foreign Languages    

Poster presenters, their faculty mentors and departments includes:

•    "Evil and the God of Love," by Cassie Cubbison of Lorena, Texas, Alison Blevins and Dr. Todd Furman, General and Basic Studies.
•    "Paid Employment Characteristics of BSN Student During the School Term: A Descriptive Study," by Lori Tarver of Lake Charles, Jennifer Barrow and Dr. Ann Warner, Nursing.
•    "Composition and Mosquitocidal Activity of Pycnanthemum tenuifolium," by Joshua Cooper of Lake Charles, Dr. Omar Christian, Chemistry and Physics.
•    "The Rise of the Monarchical Presidency," by Kirsten Smith of St. Francisville, Dr. Thomas Laehn, Social Sciences.
•    "Political Communication in the Media," by Katherine McCartney of Sulphur, Dr. Tracy Standley, Mass Communication.
•    "Vibration Analysis of Planetary Gearboxes," by Philip Hedlesky of Lake Charles and Ethan Leger of Crowley, Dr. Zhuang Li, Chemical, Civil and Mechanical Engineering.
Five McNeese visual arts students have had artwork included in the Summit's juried student art exhibit. The students and their artwork are: Brooke Robinson, Elton, graphic design, "Government Shutdown"; Hannah Wilson, Welsh, printmaking, "Blue Jay"; Lindsey Johnson, Lake Charles, drawing, "We Are All Connected"; Joe Racca, Sulphur, photography, "Theory of Gravity:  From the Lust to the Haze"; and Elizabeth Broussard, Mermentau, painting, "Beautiful Things."
The Summit also includes a performance art showcase that feature undergraduate student musicians and thespians with one performance from each university. McNeese's representative is percussionist Tab Olson, Pearland, Texas, who performed "Land" by Takatsugu Muramatsu on the marimba. He took first place in the McNeese Performance Arts competition and was also chosen "fan favorite" by audience votes.