The Undergraduate Research & Creative Activity Conference is a premier annual event at The University of Alabama that provides undergraduates an opportunity to highlight their research or creative activity.

In addition to bringing attention to the work of UA students, the Conference allows students to gain experience presenting, compete for cash prizes and form relationships with their faculty mentors and fellow Conference presenters. For more information and abstracts, go to http://ovpred.ua.edu/urca/. Winning entries for the 2018 conference include:

Presentation Category: Arts & Humanities

Undergraduate Research and Creativity Conference poster presentation.

First Place: Rhiannon Hein. Mentor: Daniel Riches (A&S – History). Nationalist Sentiment in the Era of German Unification.

Second Place: Meghan Poljak. Mentor: Teri Henley (C&IS – Advertising and Public Relations). Public Relations Society of America Alabama Chapter: Developing an Ethical Logo.

Third Place: Jennifer Fourroux, Kira Yancey. Mentor: Christopher Lynn (A&S – Anthropology). Caregivers’ Perspectives on the Human-Nonhuman Primate Relationship.

Fourth Place: Sommer Hallquist. Mentor: Rachel Stephens (A&S – Art and Art History). The Hallquist Trunk: A History of Norwegian Painted Chests and the Transfer of Norwegian Culture to America.

Fifth Place: Emily Elia. Mentor: Ana Corbalan (A&S – Modern Languages and Classics). Trauma and Dictatorships: Postmemory in Spanish and Argentinian Cinema.

Presentation Category: Business

First Place: Mike Finnegan, Connor Hollenbach. Mentor: Paan Jindapon (Culverhouse – Economics, Finance and Legal Studies), Matthew Hampton (Culverhouse – Economics, Finance and Legal Studies). The Impact of Naloxone Accessibility on Opioid Overdose Rates.

Second Place: Jordyn Kent. Mentor: Chris Whaley (Culverhouse – Economics, Finance and Legal Studies). Star Wars: Rent-Seeking for Morningstar Ratings.

Presentation Category: Computer Science, MIS, Cybersecurity, & Statistics

First Place: Caroline Babbin. Mentor: David Hale (Culverhouse – Information Systems, Statistics and Management Science), Joanne Hale (Culverhouse – Information Systems, Statistics and Management Science). Evidence-Based Practices in System Development.

Presentation Category: Education

First Place: Kira Wence. Mentor: Nathan Culmer (Community Health Sciences), Catanya Stager (Community Health Sciences). Evaluating Primary Care Medical Residents in Psychiatry Rotations: What’s Important.

Second Place: Justin Crofoot. Mentor: Philip Westbrook (Education – Educational Leadership, Policy and Technology Studies), Elizabeth Wilson (Education – Curriculum and Instruction). No Child Left Behind Policy Critique.

Third Place: Erin Yepsen. Mentor: Stacy Hughey-Surman (Education – Educational Studies in Psychology, Research Methodology and Counseling), Elizabeth Wilson (Education – Curriculum and Instruction). The Financial Accessibility of Children’s Museums in the U.S.

Presentation Category: Engineering, Transportation, & Energy

First Place (Tie): Sydney Morales. Mentor: Luke Brewer (Engineering – Metallurgical and Materials Engineering), Tao Liu (Engineering – Metallurgical and Materials Engineering). Relationship Between Mechanical Properties and Microstructures of High Pressure Die Casting AA383 Alloy.

First Place (Tie): Jared Tubbs. Mentor: Andrew Dewar (A&S – New College), Todd Freeborn (Engineering – Electrical and Computer Engineering), Holland Hopson (A&S – New College). Internal: Sonifying the Human Body.

Second Place: Morgan Ross. Mentor: Greg Thompson (Engineering – Metallurgical and Materials Engineering), Chase Smith (Engineering – Metallurgical and Materials Engineering). Rapid Ultra-High Temperature Testing of TaC and HfC.

Third Place: Lauryn Woodyard. Mentor: Todd Freeborn (Engineering – Electrical and Computer Engineering), Memorie Gosa (A&S – Communicative Disorders). MATLAB Software Tool Towards Automated Analysis of Surface Electromyography Data to Support Clinical Research of Musculature Activity During Swallowing.

Presentation Category: Health Sciences

First Place: Kayleigh Meighan. Mentor: Lesley Weaver (A&S – Anthropology). Disparities in Obstetric Care Experience Across Demographic Groups in Alabama.

Second Place: Tomasz Gruchala. Mentor: Alan Blum (Community Health Sciences). Digital Media Addiction: An Emerging Issue Among College Students.

Third Place: Alex Huechteman. Mentor: Alyssia Miller (A&S – Modern Languages and Classics). Community Needs Assessment of an Underserved Nicaraguan Population.

Fourth Place: Lita Waggoner. Mentor: Lori Turner (HES – Health Science). West Central Alabama AHEC: From High School to the Health Professions Pipeline.

Fifth Place (Tie): Sara Kazyak. Mentor: Amy Ellis (HES – Human Nutrition and Hospitality Management), Kristi Crowe-White (HES – Human Nutrition and Hospitality Management). Effects of Isoflavone Consumption on Risk Factors of Cardiovascular Disease in Post-Menopausal Women.

Fifth Place (Tie): Victoria Lewis, Brittany Tretter. Mentor: Michael Fedewa (Education – Kinesiology). Domain-Specific Correlations Between Physical Activity Intensity And Cell-Phone Addiction In College Students.

Sixth Place: Garrett Barnes. Mentor: Seung Jung (HES – Human Nutrition and Hospitality Management), Yeon Shin (HES – Human Development and Family Studies), Alvin Niuh (HES – Human Nutrition and Hospitality Management). Grocery Store Tour Increases Participants’ Intentions to Purchase Fruits and Vegetables.

Presentation Category: Life Sciences, Physical Sciences, Mathematics, & Water

First Place: Joshua Goble. Mentor: Kevin Kocot (A&S – Biological Sciences). The Biodiversity of Deep-Sea Icelandic Aplacophoran Molluscs.

Undergraduate Research and Creativity Conference poster presentation.

Second Place: Joline Hartheimer. Mentor: Yonghyun (John) Kim (Engineering – Chemical and Biological Engineering), Shreyas Rao (Engineering – Chemical and Biological Engineering). Targeting Hyaluronan Interactions for Glioblastoma Stem Cell Therapy.

Third Place: Donna Xia. Mentor: David Dixon (A&S – Chemistry), Monica Vasiliu (A&S – Chemistry). Actinide Aqueous Hydrolysis Reactions: Initial Steps in Actinide Aggregation.

Fourth Place: Matthew Cooper. Mentor: Michael Steinberg (A&S – New College). Analyzing the Effect of Climate Change on Snow Leopard Habitat.

Fifth Place: Taylor Perkins. Mentor: Carolyn Cassady (A&S – Chemistry). Influencing Charge State Distribution of Biological Peptides via Electrospray Ionization Mass Spectrometry Using Chromium(III) Nitrate.

Presentation Category: Social Sciences

First Place: Claire Manderfield. Mentor: Joan Barth (ISSR – Institute for Social Science Research). Gender Role Norms in High School Girls’ Social Groups and STEM Interest.

Second Place: Alexis Winborne. Mentor: Darrin Griffin (C&IS – Communication Studies), Sevgi Gurbuz (Engineering – Electrical and Computer Engineering), Chris Crawford (Engineering – Computer Science), Ali Gurbuz (Engineering – Electrical and Computer Engineering). A Deaf Centered Approach to Technological Needs Assessments for Communicative Assisted Devices.

Third Place: McKenna McCracken. Mentor: Joan Barth (A&S – Psychology), Kelsey Chappetta (A&S – Psychology). Gender Differences In World of Warcraft.

Fourth Place: John Denton. Mentor: Bronwen Lichtenstein (A&S – Criminal Justice). Accept or Decline?: Deciding Factors in a Voluntary HIV Testing Program for Probationers and Parolees.

Fifth Place: Kylie Hopkins. Mentor: Bronwen Lichtenstein (A&S – Criminal Justice). Is Divorce Fair?: The Gender Dynamics of Property Disposition.

Sixth Place (Tie): Elizabeth (Ashley) Stinson, Melissa Sharpe. Mentor: Tricia Witte (HES – Human Development and Family Studies). Examining Limitations in Substance Use Treatment and Recovery Outcomes in Rural vs Urban Communities Across the United States.

Sixth Place (Tie): Melissa Sharpe. Mentor: Michael Fedewa (Education – Kinesiology), Rachel Sanders (Education – Kinesiology). Examining Predictors of Opioid Use in College Students.

Capstone College of Nursing

First Place: Cassidy Kelley, Ambley Chambers. Mentor: Memorie Gosa (A&S – Communicative Disorders), Olivia May (Nursing – Capstone College of Nursing). Defining Successful Feeding: An Evidence Based Systematic Review.

Second Place: Amira Aquino. Mentor: Juan Lopez-Bautista (A&S – Biological Sciences), Gabriela Garcia-Soto (A&S – Biological Sciences). Acanthophora dendroides Harvey: a New Record for the Atlantic Ocean.

Top Work in Progress Winner: Brooke Bambis. Mentor: Ann Graves (Nursing – Capstone College of Nursing). A Scoping Literature Review: Access to Diabetes Health Services Using Geographical Information Systems.

College of Arts & Sciences-Fine Arts & Humanities

First Place: Moon Yang. Mentor: John Estes (A&S – English). Tracing Heath.

Second Place: Abigael Furman. Mentor: Dilin Liu (A&S – English). Great, Awesome, Terrific, and Fantastic: Analyzing the Lexical Semantic Change of a Set of Near Synonyms using Corpora.

Third Place: Molly Buffington. Mentor: George McClure (A&S – History). A Faith That Sings: Lutheran Liturgy as a Theological Tool in the Reformation.

College of Arts & Sciences-Natural Sciences

First Place: Abigail Rankin. Mentor: Carla Atkinson (A&S – Biological Sciences), Brian van Ee (A&S – Biological Sciences). Nutrient Limitations and the Effects of Mussel Abundance on Primary Productivity in the Sipsey River.

Second Place (Tie): Emma Neumann, Jack Houck. Mentor: Michael McKain (A&S – Biological Sciences). Evolutionary Relationships of Blueberries and Their Relatives.

Second Place (Tie): Lillian Vogelsong, Abigail Sisti, Allison Diamond. Mentor: Michael Steinberg (A&S – Geography). Wrack Line Pollution on Belizean Barrier Islands.

Second Place (Tie): Jacob Powell. Mentor: Preethi Nair (A&S – Physics and Astronomy). The Importance of Mergers in the Growth of Galaxies.

Top Work in Progress Winner (Tie): Benjamin Jones. Mentor: Shan Zhao (A&S – Mathematics), Sheik Ullah (A&S – Mathematics). Improving Effectiveness of Time Splitting Methods for Electrostatic Analysis of Solvated Biomolecules.

Top Work in Progress Winner (Tie): Grace Liu. Mentor: Ann Graves (Nursing – Capstone College of Nursing). Geographical Analysis of Diabetes Education Services in Alabama.

Top Work in Progress Winner (Tie): Neil Shimer. Mentor: Timothy Snowden (A&S – Chemistry), Kyle Black (A&S – Chemistry). Exploration of Improved Preparations of Stereodefined Imidoyl Halides.

Undergraduate Research and Creativity Conference poster presentation.

College of Arts & Sciences-Social Sciences

First Place: Nicholas Boehm. Mentor: Will Hart (A&S – Psychology), Gregory Tortoriello (A&S – Psychology). Affective Reactions to Online Social Comparison in Vulnerable and Grandiose Narcissists.

Second Place: Grace Parente. Mentor: Jason Scofield (HES – Human Development and Family Studies), Catanya Stager (Education – Educational Studies in Psychology, Research Methodology and Counseling). Adults’ Judgments of Contrasting Words.

Top Work in Progress Winner (Tie): Angelina Jones. Mentor: Fran Conners (A&S – Psychology). Cognitive Decline in Down Syndrome Adolescents and Adults.

Top Work in Progress Winner (Tie): Lauren McGuire. Mentor: Ian McDonough (A&S – Psychology). Encoding Activity in Sedentary versus Physically Active Jobs using fMRI.

College of Communication & Information Sciences

First Place: Jesse Tollison. Mentor: Jeremy Butler (C&IS – Telecommunication and Film). Why Vine Died: A Deconstruction of Vine as an Artistic Social Media.

Second Place: Madeline Hirschfield. Mentor: Carol Mills (C&IS – Communication Studies). Political Discussions Within the Family: Examining Difficult Family Conversations.

Top Work in Progress Winner: Mackenzie Pike. Mentor: Darrin Griffin (C&IS – Communication Studies). Examining Power Through Nonverbal Communication in Professors’ Online Profile Photos.

College of Education

First Place: Ross D’Entremont. Mentor: Brenda Mendiola (Education – Educational Leadership, Policy and Technology Studies), Elizabeth Wilson (Education – Curriculum and Instruction), Mary Givens (Education – Educational Leadership, Policy and Technology Studies). Effects of the Alabama Accountability Act on Rural versus Urban Private Schools.

Second Place: Rachel Remmes. Mentor: Firat Soylu (Education – Educational Studies in Psychology, Research Methodology and Counseling). Structural Brain Features Associated with Autism in Children: a VBM Study.

Top Work in Progress Winner: Jessica Bentley. Mentor: Michael Fedewa (Education – Kinesiology). The Effect of Celiac Disease on Bone Health in Children and Adolescents: a Systematic Review and Meta-analysis.

College of Engineering

First Place: Morgan Ross. Mentor: Greg Thompson (Engineering – Metallurgical and Materials Engineering), Chase Smith (Engineering – Metallurgical and Materials Engineering). Rapid Ultra-High Temperature Testing of TaC and HfC .

Second Place: Dennis Parnell Jr.. Mentor: Joshua Bittle (Engineering – Mechanical Engineering). Demonstrating a Direct-Injection Constant-Volume Combustion Chamber as a Validation Tool for Chemical Kinetic Modeling of Liquid Fuels.

Top Work in Progress Winner: Kyle Leonard. Mentor: Chris Brazel (Engineering – Chemical and Biological Engineering). Characterizing the Toxicity of Ionic Liquids to Mammalian Systems.

College of Human Environmental Sciences

First Place: Amber Wesoloski, Emily Goldstein. Mentor: Sherwood Burns-Nader (HES – Human Development and Family Studies), Jack Sykstus (HES – Human Development and Family Studies). Examining the Effectiveness of the Buzz in Pediatric Patients Undergoing an Injection.

Second Place: Taylor Burns. Mentor: Kristi Crowe-White (HES – Human Nutrition and Hospitality Management), Amy Ellis (HES – Human Nutrition and Hospitality Management). Knowledge and Intake of Nutrient-dense Dietary Patterns are Deficient among College Students.

 Third Place: Genevieve Smith. Mentor: Shinae Choi (HES – Consumer Sciences). Mental Health of Full-time Aging Workers.

Top Work in Progress Winner: D’Kota Wyatt. Mentor: Dr. Maria Hernandez-Reif (HES – Human Development and Family Studies), Nahide Gungordu (HES – Human Development and Family Studies). Sleep and Cortisol Levels in Early Childhood.

Culverhouse College of Business

First Place: Cory Myers, Austin George. Mentor: David Ford (Culverhouse – Management and Marketing). Socio-Economic Impact of West Alabama Non-Profits.

Second Place: Harry Tenenbaum. Mentor: Greg Bott (Culverhouse – Information Systems, Statistics and Management Science). Mobile Payment Adoption.

Top Work in Progress Winner: Parker Wilgus. Mentor: Mesut Yavuz (Culverhouse – Information Systems, Statistics and Management Science). The Traveling Governor Problem.

The University of Alabama, the state’s oldest and largest public institution of higher education, is a student-centered research university that draws the best and brightest to an academic community committed to providing a premier undergraduate and graduate education. UA is dedicated to achieving excellence in scholarship, collaboration and intellectual engagement; providing public outreach and service to the state of Alabama and the nation; and nurturing a campus environment that fosters collegiality, respect and inclusivity.