Graduate researchers present ‘Scholarship That Matters’

Posted on April 12, 2022

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At the UNCG Graduate School’s Showcase of Scholarship

This year, the finalists in the Graduate School’s “Showcase of Scholarship” presented their research and creative pursuits in person, at the Weatherspoon Courtyard.

UNCG has hosted the Graduate Research and Creativity Expo for 10 years, but the last two iterations were online due to coronavirus restriction.

“This year’s graduate showcase was a return to the vibrant community that so many of us love and value,” said Interim Dean of the Graduate School Greg Bell. “Our graduate students focused on the importance of their scholarship as they shared their work with community judges as well as faculty and staff from across UNCG. It’s clear that their scholarship matters. The graduate researchers’ work not only impacts their discipline – it makes a difference in our community, our state, and beyond.”

The competition –  this year with the theme “Scholarship That Matters” – was open to any student that is currently enrolled in a UNCG graduate program and engaged in original scholarship with a UNCG faculty member, and the preliminary round consisted of video presentations.

The 30 students in the final round made poster presentations, communicating their research and creative work in a manner intended to reach a general audience.

In each of the six categories, a $1,000 prize was awarded to students who best succeeded in communicating their research in a clear and engaging manner.

The winning students are listed below, with several sharing words about their experience at the expo:

Art & Humanities
Lauren Dillon, History
Faculty mentor: Dr. Mandy L. Cooper
“American History Textbook & Curriculum Debates in North Carolina Public Schools, 1950-1979”

“I enjoyed presenting at the expo because it pushed me to analyze my research in a way that made it more accessible to the public…As a graduate student of history, it’s tempting to want to focus on the details of a research project in order to make your work stand out, but it is also equally important to grab the attention of the everyday person who may be interested in your research as well if you hope to create a broader impact outside of your field…Working on an independent research project can sometimes feel isolating, and you sometimes question your project (imposter syndrome is real!) Presenting to interested people and along with other graduate students at an expo makes you feel like your time and effort was well worth it in the end.” 

Steisha Pintado, Art,
Faculty mentor: Barbara Campbell Thomas
“You Will Be with Me in Paradise”

“The Graduate Research and Creativity Expo was my first time sharing my creative research with an audience outside of the School of Art and my friends. It was so exciting to share my work and ideas with an audience who isn’t already familiar with my story and my work…My experience at the Expo showed me that people are interested in this topic, and that makes me feel energized and ready to dig deeper into my research and creative practice.” 

Health Sciences
Olivia Frangos, Kinesiology
Faculty mentor: Dr. Christopher K. Rhea
“Who is the research for? Reviewing sample populations and the applicability of research designs in breast biomechanics: a systematic review.”

Love Odetola, Public Health Education, Stephen Sills
Dr. Sharon Morrison
“It’s like there’s salt’ in the water”

Natural, Physical, and Mathematical Sciences
Seraiah Coe, Biology, Sourav Chakraborty and Dr. Ramji Bhandari
Faculty mentor: Dr. Ramji Bhandari
“Are grandparents’ lifestyles responsible for their grandchildren’s health?”

Social Sciences, Education, & Business
Kayla Baker, Educational Leadership & Cultural Foundations
Dr. Leila Villaverde
“The Backbone is Speaking: Uplifting Black Women Voices on the Socialization of Black Youth”

“Having only a short amount of time to engage the different attendees passing by forced me to be very intentional about what details I shared and how I shared them. It definitely taught me how to strategically communicate the purpose, results, and conclusions of my research project.”

Story by Susan Kirby-Smith and Dana Broadus
Photography by Martin W. Kane, University Communications


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