For Marlene Regalado Alanis, research includes her intricately hand-crafted books, each one a work of art, painstakingly cut with a precision knife and then bound.
She was proud to display her work in Indiana University Kokomo’s annual undergraduate research symposium, so that her friends, classmates, and faculty could see her accomplishments.
“When I saw the chance to participate, I was excited to show people my books,” said Alanis, a new media, art, and technology major. “My professors encouraged me to showcase them in my portfolio or an exhibition, and this was my opportunity.”
Alanis was among 48 students participating in the symposium, Friday, March 25, in the Kelley Student Center. It included 14 oral presentations and 12 posters. New this year was digital presentations by 13 students in the Tomorrow’s Teachers program, which allows future educators to take School of Education classes as part of their high school curriculum.
Symposium organizer Erin Doss, associate professor of communication arts, said the event gives students a chance to share not only their research, but passion for their respective majors.
“They get a chance to tell people about the work they are doing,” she said. “They don’t often have a chance to talk about it outside of class. It’s a great experience to present in front of people, and to prepare to do that by condensing their work to a short summary they can communicate to people who are not experts in their field.”
Doss noted that every presenter has a faculty mentor guiding him or her through the research process.
“Research is a high-impact way to develop academic interests, working directly with a faculty member,” she said. “It’s an active approach to learning, rather than just reading or listening in a classroom.”
A panel of faculty judges selected a top presenter in each category to receive a $250 scholarship.
Madeline Sinnamon, Kokomo, received the top oral presentation award for Recreating the Sound: Approaching and Creating New Sounds for Videos. Honorable mention presentations were given by Savannah Cooper, Skylar Anthony, Noah Claus and Audrey Strawsma, and Haley Freeland.
MiKayla Beard, Kokomo, presented the top poster, with Child Abuse Effects on Interpersonal Relationships and Attachment Styles. Honorable Mention posters were presented by Olivia Terry, Andrew Pervez and Marcus Mensah, and Marlene Regalado Alanis.
Among the Tomorrow’s Teachers students, Brianna Aviles, Kokomo, was the top presenter.
Faculty judges were Awny Alnusair, associate professor of informatics; Scott Blackwell, lecturer in philosophy; Angela Coppola, assistant professor of health sciences; Chris Darr, professor of communication arts; Joann Kaiser, senior lecturer in communication arts; Hisako Masuda, associate professor of biochemistry; Stephanie Medley-Rath, associate professor of sociology; Leah Nellis, dean of the School of Education; Aaron Pickens, assistant professor of new media; and Esra Topcuoglu, assistant professor of hospitality and tourism.
Additional students participating included Carter Adkins, Adam Basham, Katie Boike, Christian Bunce, Tifany Burnett, Kelsey Burnham, Austin Carie, Kyle Copenhaver, Paula Cubides, Brenton Davisson, Megan Dishon, Wesley Grove, Hayden Herring, Christian Lewis Brittany Lucas, Tyler Marcus, Jesus Martinez, Pat Mills, Daniel Parvin II, Chloe Sessoms, Logan Smith, Ariel Stevens, Tao Wang, Alex Whiteman.
Tomorrow’s Teachers presenters were Aubrey Baer, Sophia Brown, Cami Caldwell, Mackenzie Collins, Connor Etchison, Gracie Fouch, Regan Kimbler, Abigail Mitchel, Alexis Montemayor, Andrew Newcomer, Naomi Packard, and Seainna Winner.
The undergraduate research symposium is sponsored by the IU Kokomo Honors Program and the Office of Academic Affairs.