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Winners Named at 13th Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium

October 14, 2013

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Sigma Xi Research Symposium

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – The 13th Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium, sponsored by the College of Science and Engineering at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi and the South Texas Chapter of Sigma Xi and its student affiliate members, was held on campus on October 12.

Students representing Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and Del Mar College at the all-day symposium had the opportunity to compete against their peers in one of two categories, either an oral or poster presentation. The symposium was comprised of 13 oral presenters and 21 poster presentations awarding a first, second, third place, and honorable mention in each category; in addition, special awards also given in different areas. The highly-competitive presentations were rated by judges on the quality of research and presentation delivery.

Oral Presentation, General Category Winners were:

  • First Place, $200 prize: Cory Speights, Laura Brown, Taylor Estabrooks, and Theodore DeWitt, “Nitrate Release by Salt Marsh Plants: An Overlooked Nutrients Flux Mech11anism”
  • Second Place, $150 prize: Clayton Speed (Del Mar College), Ann Parplys and J. Robert Hatherill, “Investigating the Role of DNA Repair Enzymes in the Replication, Recombination, and Repair of DNA”
  • Third Place, $100 prize: Molly Robertson (Del Mar College), and J. Robert Hatherill, “iLOV Fluorescent as a Reporter for Expression and Purification of DNA Repair Proteins in Escherichia”
  • Honorable Mention, $50 prize: Abigail Johnson and Dr. David Grisé, “Growth and Photosynthetic Characteristics of Progeny from Winter and Summer-active Helianthus in the Corpus Christi, Texas, Area”

Special Awards:

  • Greatest Potential for Impact, $50 prize: Julian Vela, Edy Valdes, Amanda Ibanez, Joel Salinas, and Chris Chavez, “Mobile Plasma Sanitation System”
  • Most Innovative in Engineering and Computing Sciences, $50 prize: Dustin Smith, Shane Smith, Dr. Lee Smee, and Dr. Mehrube Mehrubeoglu “Identifying Oyster Shell Weight, Thickness and Strength Trends using Three Imaging Modalities”
  • Most Innovative in Life Sciences, $50 prize: Cory Speights, Laura Brown, Taylor Estabrooks, and Theodore DeWitt, “Nitrate Release by Salt Marsh Plants: An Overlooked Nutrients Flux Mechanism”

Poster Presentation, General Category Winners were:

  • First Place, $200 prize: Samantha Valdez, Daniel Arango, and Andrea Doseff, "Mechanisms of Breast Cancer Chemosensitization by Nutritional Compounds"
  • Second Place, $150 prize: Shawn Robinson and Jeffrey King, “Development of Neutron Radiography Capabilities Using a Radioisotope Neutron Source”
  • Third Place, $100 prize: Christopher Schafer, Jennifer Broughton, Sherry Palacios, and Raphael Kudela, “Validation and Application of PHYDOTax: A Phytoplankton functional Type Discriminator Algorithm”
  • Honorable Mention, $50 prize: Mariela Vasquez, Marco Messina, Daryl Gaspar, Amanda Goldner, and Dr. Mark Olson, "Bipyridinium-based Polymer sponges for the Selective Sequestration of pi-Electron Rich Aromatic Hydrocarbons from Water"

Special Awards:

  • Greatest Potential Impact, $50 prize: Shawn Robinson and Jeffrey King, "Development of Neutron Radiography Capabilities Using a Radioisotope Neutron Source"                               
  • Most Innovative in Engineering and Computing Sciences, $50 prize: Lawrence Rahmes and Dr. Mehrube Mehrubeoglu, "Real-Time Computer Interface for Double-Integrating Spheres System"
  • Most Innovative in Physical and Environmental Sciences, $50 prize: Amanda Goldner, Daryl Gaspar, Marco Messina, Jonathan Thompson, Trenton Dawson, and Dr. Mark Olson, "Binary Molecular Switch-controlled Self Assembly in Water"
  • Most Innovative in Life Sciences, $50 prize: Daniel Livingston, Dr. Mehrube Mehrubeoglu, and Dr. Gregory Buck, "Hyperspectral Imaging of Bacteria"

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