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4/4/13 - Undergraduate Research Symposium winners announced

More than 30 Mississippi State students are being honored for the scholarly investigations they pursued during the 2012-2013 academic year at the university.

In addition to being recognized formally at the university's recent Undergraduate Research Symposium, each honoree presented original investigations--work guided by their major professors.

"Undergraduate research allows students to delve deeply into important ideas and topics in a rigorous and creative way, paving the way for future intellectual work and exploration whether in the academic, business or other life arena," said mathematics professor Seth F. Oppenheimer, undergraduate research director at the Shackouls Honors College.

In recognition of MSU's national Carnegie Foundation classification, a community engagement competition was offered for the first time at the symposium, held in conjunction with the campus Center for the Advancement of Service-Learning Excellence, said CASLE Director April Heiselt.

"Mississippi, the nation and the world are committed to the MSU tradition of instilling the ideals of citizenship and service," Heiselt said. "The community engagement track highlights the research efforts and commitment of MSU undergrads and their faculty."

In addition to community engagement, students competed in categories that cover the range of academic degrees offered, including arts and humanities, biological sciences and engineering, social sciences, and physical sciences and engineering.

First-, second- and third-place winners in each track received gift cards and certificates.


FIRST--Senior English major Donald M. Brown of Vicksburg, son of Willie and Cynthia Brown.

SECOND--Senior art major Ashlei Stewart of Poplarville, daughter of David and Michelle Stewart.

THIRD--Junior English major Molly E. Beckwith of Hot Springs, Ark., daughter of Gary and Kelly Beckwith.


FIRST--Senior biological sciences major Kelly P. Callahan of Cordova, Tenn., daughter of Michael Callahan and Carolyn Thomas.

SECOND--Senior biological sciences major Nandita Mahajan of Starkville, daughter of Nettu and Bhuvaneshwari Mahajan of India.

THIRD--Junior biological sciences major Christopher M. Cerovsky of Fayetteville, Ga., son of Roger and Ashley Cerovsky.


FIRST--Senior agricultural science major Alyssa Barrett of Wiggins, daughter of William and Nancy Barrett. Co-authors were Mike Oye, Ned Browning and Gaea Wimmer, who are either assistant or extension professors in the School of Human Sciences.

SECOND--Junior history major Rebecca M. Cash of Madison, Ala., daughter of Brandon and Amy Cash. Co-authors--all freshmen--were English major Andrea D. Drake of Olive Branch, daughter of Andrew and Sonja Drake; biological sciences major Brittany A. Henderson of Jackson, daughter of Orange and Valerie Henderson [39212]; human sciences major Karissa A. Logan of Walls, daughter of Anthony Logan and Barrie Jones; microbiology major Randi J. Manning of Silver Spring, Md., daughter of Randall and Valerie Manning [20906]; electrical engineering major Austin Walthall of Crestview, Fla., son of David and Elizabeth Walthall; and Shawna J. Williams of Hattiesburg, daughter of Michele Williams.

THIRD--Senior architecture major Melinda K. Ingram of Odessa, Fla., daughter of Dwayne and Bonnie Ingram. Also architecture majors, the co-authors were senior Alex G. Reeves of Ellisville, son of Graham and Rhonda Reeves; junior Jacob L. "Jake" Johnson of Roswell, Ga., son of Michael and Emily Johnson; senior Mark S. Riley of Columbia, son of James and Myra Riley; senior building construction science major Adam J. Trautman of Amory, son of Kevin and Martha Trautman. Heiselt, an associate professor and director of counseling and educational psychology, was faculty co-author.


FIRST--Senior aerospace engineering major Anthony J. "Tony" Favaloro of Collierville, Tenn., son of Ronald and Deborah Favaloro.

SECOND--Senior electrical engineering major Rebecca S. Rougeau of Cantonment, Fla., daughter of Ronald and Debra Rougeau. The co-authors--all senior electrical engineering majors--were Kathryn J. Williams of State Line, daughter of Jeffrey and Amy Williams; Thomas McCollum of Amory, son of John and Karen McCollum; Robert W. Hulsey of Biloxi, son of Lloyd and Sandra Hulsey. Senior computer engineering major Jason R. Hancock of Lawrence, son of Keith Hancock and Debra Mathis, also was a co-author.

THIRD--Senior industrial engineering major Alex R. Barillas of Biloxi, son of Ricardo Ramos and Elizabeth Pellecer.


FIRST--Senior psychology major Andrew Finnegan of Slidell, La., son of Alice Barattoni. Psychology graduate student William T. Cockrell of Macon, son of Tommy and Mary Cockrell, was co-author.

SECOND--Senior psychology major Tyler Caery of Clinton, son of James and Mindy Caery.

THIRD--Kaci A. Myers of Florence, daughter of Kevin and Kristi Myers and a 2012 fall semester graduate, magna cum laude, in psychology.

Following the symposium, the honors college hosted the 2013 Mississippi Honors Conference, a gathering for undergraduate honors students from postsecondary institutions across the state.

In addition to the Shackouls Honors College, the undergraduate research symposium was cosponsored by MSU's Office of Research and Economic Development and the campus-based National Strategic Planning and Analysis Research Center. Other collaborators included CASLE, Office of the Provost and MSU Cooperative Extension Service.

Prizes were provided by the campus chapter of the national Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society.

Leah Barbour | University Relations

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