The Student News Site of University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma

The Trend

The Student News Site of University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma

The Trend

The Student News Site of University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma

The Trend

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Showcase Highlights Student Research and Projects

For the first time since the pandemic, the Student Showcase is in person
Emily Loughridge
In late 2023, senior Caleb Smith presented his research, and he will present his research again at the Student Showcase in the ballroom.

The first in-person Student Showcase since before the pandemic will be held Thursday, Apr. 11 from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m. in the ballroom. The showcase is a come-and-go event and is open for anyone to attend. It will feature various research and projects students have done throughout the academic year.

Since the pandemic, the Student Showcase has only been held virtually. Dr. Joshua Hakala, associate professor of biology and director of undergraduate research, said when he became director of undergraduate research, he made it one of his goals to bring back the Student Showcase in person. He said he felt like people weren’t getting the opportunity to appreciate and learn everything that our students were doing, which is why he made it a priority to host the event in person again.

“I hope the audience can appreciate how talented our students are and how creative they are,” Dr. Hakala said. “Hopefully the audience can learn more about the subjects that are being studied here, and the audience will be inspired by seeing the hard work that students are putting in to take on certain projects or think about their own things a little bit differently.”

To be able to present in the showcase, students needed to get a faculty nomination to present their work. The works being presented this year include art presentations, poster presentations, and research projects. There are a dozen students who will present their work Thursday.

Halli Humphrey, a senior economics and sociology major, will give an oral presentation of her undergraduate research. Humphrey’s research looks at how USAO students allocate their time to education, leisure, and work.

Hayla Wilson, a freshman communication major, will showcase Native American beadwork. Wilson said she wants to show why beadwork is important to Native American culture.

Marshall Ingram, a senior BFA art major, will showcase a sculpture he made. The sculpture, titled “The Means of Separation,” has over 100 feet of chain that connects two structures. Ingram said the sculpture represents the harm that comes with separation in relationships.

“I’m excited to see what people have to say about my piece and what it makes them feel,” Ingram said. “Everyone has a different story in their eyes.”

Sydney Wilkins, a senior environmental science major, will present about the history and importance of plant pressing. Wilkins said she wants to inspire others to be interested in plant pressing, and she’s excited to share about the history of it.

Christy Chavez, a junior biology and business administration major, will present an informational poster about the effects of diabetes. Chavez said she wants to use her voice to spread awareness about diabetes and how it affects people every day.

“I’ve had the thought about spreading awareness of diabetes, but I didn’t know how to reach the public,” Chavez said. “Since I’ll have an audience, I decided to use my voice.”

Jacie Crawford, a freshman environmental science major, Destiny Crommie, a freshman environmental science major, and Jenna Hamburger, a freshman environmental science and biology major, will present about lead concentrations in the soil at the USAO Habitat. They did this presentation in their Field Techniques 1 course, and they decided to present it to a larger audience.

Chandler Leamon-Webb, a senior political science and history major, will present his undergraduate research, which looks at the Greensboro Sit-Ins and how the strategies used became effective and influential to the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s.

Ethan Korn, a senior biology and environmental science major, will present his undergraduate research, which looks at how the foot traffic of a location affects the population of turtles and frogs over time.

Bea Bourland, a junior environmental science major, will present the start of her undergraduate research. Bourland started her undergraduate research with a literature review of paleontological research, and she will be presenting her hypotheses for her research project.

“Paleontology isn’t something you see a lot at USAO,” Bourland said. “I think it’d be good to show what I am doing.”

Caleb Smith, a senior biology major, will present his undergraduate research, which looks at lactic acid production in different athletic body types, whether it’s strength or endurance athletes.

Davis Perri, a senior environmental science major, will present his undergraduate project, which looks at the impact of herbicides on mealworm life cycles and growth.

Abbie McNabb, a junior biology major, will present research she has done on how factors such as someone’s lifestyle, gender, or hand dominance, can affect the medical effects of grip strength.

To view or hear the students present their research, attend the Student Showcase Thursday, Apr. 11 in the ballroom from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.


Luka Messick is a first-year physics major at the Univeristy of Science and Arts of Oklahoma. 

Ray Thomas-Lapham
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About the Contributors
Luka Messick
Luka Messick, Contributing Writer
Luka is a first-year physics major from Tulsa. He loves music and spends most of his free time listening to music. Luka played the clarinet in high school and was part of his school's front ensemble for marching season and winter percussion season. Luka also plays video games with his friends. Since he has been on campus, Luka has joined SPS and PRISM.   Experience with The Trend: Contributing Writer: Sept. 2023 - present
Emily Loughridge
Emily Loughridge, Editor-in-Chief
Emily is a fourth-year communication major from Union City. Emily is obtaining minors in psychology and liberal arts, as well. She has been on staff for The Trend since the fall of 2021 and loves working with the writers on ideas! Emily also works in the Sports Information Department on campus as the Student Assistant. When she isn't studying or working, Emily can normally be found watching Scrubs, Reba, or How I Met Your Mother and enjoying ice cream with her boyfriend.   Experience with The Trend: Editor-in-Chief: Dec. 2022 - present Managing Editor: May 2022 - Nov. 2022 Contributing Writer: Aug. 2021 - April 2022