Kennesaw State University

2015 Symposium of Student Scholars: 20 Years and Growing

It is a banner year for Kennesaw State’s Symposium of Scholars and Undergraduate Research.  On April 16, the annual event celebrated its 20th year of recognizing excellence in student scholarship and creative activity. It’s also the year that will launch efforts to increase visibility, participation, communication and student engagement in research. 

In addition, as it has for several consecutive years, the 2015 Symposium recorded its highest number of participants and projects — 234 students collaborating with 75 faculty members to produce 153 research and creative projects.  Included among this year’s participants were students from the Southern Polytechnic College of Engineering and Engineering Technology.

“This symposium is the highlight of the academic year,” Kennesaw State President Daniel S. Papp told students, faculty and guests at the annual undergraduate research ceremony. “You are shaping your minds, adding to knowledge and possibly shaping your career,” a reference the President made to his own experience as an undergraduate assistant to a professor whose research focus was on Russia. Papp launched his academic career as a scholar of Russian military history.

Papp also announced an undergraduate research initiative that includes the creation of a faculty advisory council, a newly designed website and a commitment to increase the number of undergraduate scholars attending the National Conference on Undergraduate Research.     

As members of the new advisory council, representatives within each college will be responsible for facilitating increases in symposium participation, submissions to the Kennesaw Journal of Undergraduate Research, membership in the Undergraduate Research Club, and submissions for funding, explained Amy Buddie, associate professor of psychology and associate director for graduate student support and undergraduate research and creative activity for the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, the symposium’s organizer.

“I'm really excited about this group,” Buddie said of the Undergraduate Research Faculty Advisory Council. “I think they're going to have great ideas about how to improve undergraduate research experiences at KSU.”

A highlight of the annual symposium is awards and prizes presented for the best oral and poster presentations. This year’s awardees are:

Best Oral Presentation ($200 gift card):

"The Success of Hashtags in Social Media Movements: A Linguistics Approach"

Student: Hannah Smith

Faculty Mentors: Letizia Guglielmo and Chris Palmer

Department of English


Runner-Up Oral Presentation ($100 gift card):

"Crystal Nucleation of Palladium Doped Lithiumdisilicate Glass"

Student: Gregory Humble

Faculty Mentor: Kisa Ranasinghe

Department of Physics


Best Poster ($200 gift card):

"Multisite Phosphorylation Of eNOS By Various Kinases And The Impact Of Calmodulin"

Students: Alberto Romero and Mallory Welton

Faculty Mentors: Carol Chrestensen, John Salerno, and Jonathan McMurry

Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry


Runner-Up Poster ($100 gift card):

"Can The Misattribution Of Blame Contribute To Falsely Taking The Blame?"

Students: Geena Washington and Olivia Alexander

Faculty Mentor: Jennifer Willard

Department of Psychology

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