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Blinn students display original research and innovations at second annual Student Research Celebration

Event showcases student work presented at national conferences

May 10, 2017

Kyna Westbury

Blinn College sophomore Kyna Westbury explains her group’s research project to a visitor during the second annual Student Research Celebration held in the Blinn-Bryan Campus Student Center.

Blinn College students recently showcased their original research and innovations in subjects ranging from chemistry to psychology as part of the College’s second annual Student Research Celebration.

Located in the Blinn-Bryan Student Center, the event featured more than 30 exhibits of original work, including research posters recently presented at two major national conferences. Students who participated in the projects were available throughout the day to describe their work and research outcomes for visitors.

“We wanted the entire community to see the amazing things our students are doing, and get more students excited about research,” said Joyce Langenegger, Director of Professional Development and coordinator of the conference. “They are doing true research—initiating projects and earning recognition for it.”

In April, 11 chemistry students displayed their research at the 253rd American Chemical Society (ACS) National Meeting and Exposition in San Francisco. Catherine Anding, Jonathan Ayala-Rosa, Rocio Barbosa, Matthew Bryant, Ryan Ferrer, Kevin Hernandez, Sarah Jarwan, Zachariah Jones, Loren Mullen, Rodolfo Muzquiz, and Nigora Zuparova teamed with professors Dr. Hanan Abdou, Dr. Carl Aronson, Dr. Lee Don Bienski, Dr. Lidia Smith, and Dr. Sameh Abdelwahed to develop and present five posters and two papers at the conference, which drew an estimated 15,000 industry professionals, faculty, and students.

This is the sixth year Blinn students have presented at the annual meeting.

“Blinn College is one of the few community colleges in the nation sending students to national conferences,” said Bienski, Chemistry Professor. “Our consistent performance has earned Blinn a reputation as an institution with unique undergraduate research opportunities.”

The students’ research ranged from synthesizing a cancer-fighting drug to investigating genetic data markers for Alzheimer’s disease. In addition to the 11 student researchers selected to attend the conference, more than 10 students worked behind the scenes on the posters and papers.

Paul Whitcomb

Blinn College sophomore Paul Whitcomb explains his group’s research project to a visitor during the second annual Student Research Celebration held in the Blinn-Bryan Campus Student Center.

The Student Research Celebration also featured the work of 10 psychology students who recently traveled to San Antonio to present at the 2017 Southwestern Psychological Association (SWPA) Conference. Kortney Boldt, Samira Islam-Mina, Derrick James Perez, Alan Rivera, Jazem Omar Saripada, Matthew Smith, Matthew Swanson, Kyna Westbury, Taylor Westbury, and Dalton Wise joined professors Dr. Katherine Wickes and Shaan Shahabuddin to present four posters at the event.

“The conference was a great opportunity to view the extensive research conducted by university students, as well as interact with faculty and professionals in the field,” said psychology student Kyna Westbury. “This was my first year to attend, and I definitely would like to return next year.”

The SWPA Conference attracted more than 1,200 attendees and featured projects that encompassed the theme of “Fitting In/Standing Out: The Psychology of Groups.” Blinn students’ research covered topics relating to social media usage and narcissism, the relationship between grit and procrastination, and parents’ perception of stress and anxiety among children.

“Students with research experience at the community college level become more marketable when transferring to a four-year university,” said Wickes, Psychology Professor and Division of Social Sciences Department Head. “Once accepted, this experience is their gateway to immediate eligibility for research assistant positions.”

Registration for Blinn’s May Minimester, Summer I and II, and Fall 2017 semesters is open for all students. For enrollment information and to learn about financial aid opportunities, visit: www.blinn.edu.