Now in its 13th year, Student Research Day (SRD) has become an institution at California State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH), and a widely-anticipated showcase of the analytical and creative vigor demonstrated each year by the university’s budding researchers.
Close to 220 oral and poster presentations were delivered during SRD on Feb. 14 and 15, covering a wide range of academic disciplines at the university, from history to health, business to biology, Chicana/o studies to computer science.
Nearly 50 student investigators emerged with top honors. From that winning pool, 10 projects will be selected to represent CSUDH at the statewide CSU Research Competition May 4 and 5 at CSU Sacramento.
Psychology majors Ray Jaquez and Christina Fincel were honored with 1st place in the Behavioral and Social Sciences II category for their presentation “Design Your Life: Evaluating a Course to Help Students Transition from College into their First Career.” The Design Your Life course at CSUDH was developed by Assistant Professors of Psychology Giacomo Bono and Heather Butler to provide students opportunities to participate in professional career planning and networking. Butler served as Jaquez and Fincel’s SRD faculty mentor.
Part of Jaquez’s talk focused on what he called “positive psychology,” a concept that helps guide students through the course’s linear framework—accept, emphasize, define, ideation, prototype, and test.
“The course prepares you for life. A lot of the tasks in this course are based on projection. You project into the future, you idealize, and come up with scenarios that you can apply to adapt when issues arise to help you move forward,” explained Jaquez. “A big one is collaboration networking and working with others. By using other people’s knowledge and expertise, you learn to further your own knowledge, while gaining different perspectives.”
Providing the keynote address during the SRD lunch program was scholar, activist, and CSUDH alumna Xhercis Méndez (2008, B.A., Interdisciplinary Studies), an assistant professor of Philosophy, African American and African Studies at Michigan State University.
Méndez was a McNair Scholar and Clark Fellow while at CSUDH, and took 1st place during Student Research Day in 2007. During her remarks, she shared the anxiety she experienced during SRD in an amusing, yet inspiring way. She discussed the insecurities she felt about presenting her work; her concern about the relevance of her research topic, which centered on stories related to her Puerto Rican heritage, and her research credibility as “just a student.”
“I didn’t imagine myself as someone who could be considered [worthy of] producing knowledge. There was an important shift there that had to happen for me to have that kind of understanding of self. I was hesitant to present my work, but that hesitancy helped form my career trajectory at a time when I couldn’t imagine being a professor,” she said. “I wanted to become a math teacher in high school, but Vivian Price [professor of Interdisciplinary Studies/PACE and coordinator of Labor Studies at CSUDH] was really gung-ho. She ran me over to Michelle Martinez [director of the McNair Scholars program] and said, ‘You have to become a McNair Scholar. You have to do more.’ So I did, and I kept going.”
The top two presentations and posters from each SRD session are listed below.
Behavioral and Social Sciences I
1st place: Andrew Luu, psychology: “Life History Theory on Gratification, Education, and Socioeconomic Status.” Faculty mentor: Kevin Dooley, Psychology.
2nd place: Andrew Luu, Psychology: “The Impact of Reading Source on Retention of Factual Material and Abstract Concepts.” Faculty mentor: Larry Rosen, psychology.
Behavioral and Social Sciences II
1st place: Ray Jaquez and Cristina Fincel, Psychology: “Design Your Life: Evaluating a Course to Help Students Transition from College Into Their First Career.” Faculty mentor: Heather Butler, psychology
2nd place: Jessica Guszak, Psychology: “Cognitive and Mental Health Effects on How People Absorb Information from Social Media.” Faculty mentor: Mark Carrier, psychology.
Behavioral and Social Sciences III
1st place: Ian A. Klinger, Sociology: “Age matters: Differences in predictors of self-reported adherence between older and young Black men who have sex with men.” Faculty mentor: Matthew Mutchler, sociology.
2nd place: Juliana Soto, sociology: “Dealing with “The Gay Dilemma”: Older Gay Men Living with HIV.” Faculty mentor: Matthew Mutchler, Sociology.
Biological and Agricultural Sciences I
1st place: Leobardo Corona, Stephanie Perez, Roberto Sandoval, Biology: “Using in situ hybridization and morpholinos to investigate the expression and function of transcription factors, znfx1 and vgll1, in zebrafish embryos.” Faculty mentor: Fang Wang, Biology.
Business, Economics, and Public Administration I
1st place: Melissa Tolosa, Information Systems and Operations Management: “Gaining Important Digital Skills for College Success: From the Perceptions of First-Year College Students.” Faculty mentor: Nancy Deng, Information Systems and Operations Management.
Computer Science and Engineering I
1st place: Alexander Wittmond, Computer Science: “The Design and Implementation of a Function Reactive Game Engine.” Faculty mentor: Serban Raianu, Mathematics.
Creative Arts I
1st place: Stephen West, Studio Art: “Revealing Design in Nature for Educating and Conservation.” Faculty mentor: Devon Tsuno, Art and Design.
2nd place: Gibrann Rangel, Thinh Nguyen, Digital Media Arts: “Teen Runaway PSA.” Faculty mentor: George Vinovich, Digital Media Arts.
Creative Arts II
1st place: Catrina Mendoza, Art and Design: “A Visual Insight into a ‘Deadly Weapon.’” Faculty mentor: Devon Tsuno, Art and Design.
2nd place: Nichole Saul, Art and Design: “Coco Chanel: An Avant-Garde Artist of the Modern Period.” Faculty mentor: Kirsten Ellsworth, Art and Design.
1st place: Juan Lugo, Teacher Education: “Troubling Masculinities: Implications for Engaging Male Students of Color.” Faculty mentor: Edward Curammeng, Teacher Education.
2nd place: Hawk McFadzen, Sociology: “Leaving DH: Why are First-Generation, Pell-Eligible, Non-White Commuters Unable to Persist at a School where they are the Majority? A Qualitative Study.” Faculty mentor: Bridget Driscoll, University Advisement Center.
Health, Nutrition, and Clinical Sciences I
1st place: Katherine Simon, Thao Thai, Occupational Therapy: “A Photovoice Study Exploring Falls Among Older Adults.” Faculty mentor: Claudia Peyton, Occupational Therapy.
2nd place: Joanne Kwak, Lauren Labac, and Jennifer McCann, Occupational Therapy: “Young Adult Cancer Survivorship.” Faculty mentor: Claudia Peyton, Occupational Therapy.
Health, Nutrition, and Clinical Sciences II
1st place: Parker Zak, Nicole Mosser, and Christine Quach, Occupational Therapy: “’I am a Quilter:’ An Ethnographic Study.” Faculty mentor: Claudia Peyton, Occupational Therapy.
2nd place: Jordan Martin, Hans Kim, and Lauren Kawano, Occupational Therapy: “Compassion Fatigue Among Occupational Therapists: A Transcendental Phenomenological Study.” Faculty mentor: Claudia Peyton, Occupational Therapy.
Health, Nutrition, and Clinical Sciences II
1st place: Kevin Yang, Sara Paik, Callie Woods, Occupational Therapy: “Immigrant Parents’ Perceptions of Care: A Phenomenological Study.” Faculty mentor: Claudia Peyton, Occupational Therapy.
2nd place: Josephine Mickelsen, Brittany Eaton, and Adee Rozov, Occupational Therapy: “’Not Just Another Petri Dish:’ Stem Cell Transplant Survivor Needs.” Faculty mentor: Claudia Peyton, Occupational Therapy.
Humanities and Letters I
1st place: Melvianne Andersen, English: “Experimenting with Women and Epistemology in Love’s Labour’s Lost.” Faculty mentor: Kimberly Huth, English.
2nd place: Christine Crane, Humanities: “Modernity, Wahhabi Islam and Monarchial Power in Qatar Exhibited in Contemporary Art.” Faculty mentor: Patricia Gamon, Humanities.
Humanities and Letters II
1st place: Cambria Rodriguez, History: “Bringing Wealth and Water to the City of Angels: Transforming Los Angeles’ Physical Landscape into an Anglo Vision 1885-1930.” Faculty mentor: Doris Namala, History.
2nd place: Paula Sherrin, English: “Gendered Experiences of Trauma in Titus Andronicus.” Faculty mentor: Kimberly Huth, English.
Physical and Mathematical Sciences I
1st place: Adrianna Perez, Physics: “Star Formation in Simulated Merging Galaxies.” Faculty Mentor: John Price, Physics.
2nd place: Nadia Hirbawi, Chemistry and Biochemistry: “Synthesis of Redox Active 2,4,6-Tris(p-ferrocenylanilino)-1,3,5-triazine and its Host-Guest Properties with Cucurbit[n]uril (n=7,8).” Faculty mentor: Arumugam Thangavel, Chemistry and Biochemistry.
Poster Session I
1st place: Jeffrey Stone, Social Work: “A Qualitative Comparison of Social Work Practices Between Norway and the United States Regarding the Treatment of Single Fathers.” Faculty mentor: Maria Avila, Social Work.
2nd place: Iris Nakashima, Biology: “Dependency of Aggressive Breast Cancer on Autophagy for Survival.” Faculty mentor: Shehla Pervin, Endocrinology (Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science).
Poster Session II
1st place: Elvis Carillo, Earth Science and Geography: “Carson’s Natural Hazards: How vulnerable is the CSUDH campus and are we prepared for a natural disaster?” Faculty mentor: Parveen Chhetri, Earth Science and Geography.”
Poster Session III
1st place: Chinedu Muo, Psychology: “Effects of Socioeconomic Status (SES) on Health Attitudes and Healthcare Accessibility among College-level Students.” Faculty mentor: Kevin Dooley, Psychology.
2nd place: Albert Barrios, Biology: “Increased Expression of DUSP9 Increases Embryonic Stem Cell Population to Promote Breast Cancer.” Faculty mentor: Shehla Pervin, Endocrinology (Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science).