Outstanding Presentation Award Winners 2011

by   |  04.28.14  |  Uncategorized


  • Utilizing Tropical Forage Legumes to Supplement Young Goats Fed a Basal Diet of Sudangrass Hay Tiffany Lutz, Spencer Fox (Dr. Florah Mhlanga, agricultural and environmental sciences)
  • For the Love of Love: A Rhetorical Analysis of the Bachelor Amanda Goodall (Dr. Lauren Lemley, communication)
  • A Spirituality of Place: Holy Space in Torah and Celtic Christianity Rebekah Childers (Dr. Rodney Ashlock, Bible, missions and ministry)
  • Determining an Interaction Between the Enterococcus Faecalis Enzymes: Acetoacetyl-CoA Thiolase/HMG-CoA Reductase and HMG-CoA Synthase Holly Perkins (Dr. Autumn Sutherlin, chemistry and biochemistry)
  • Influence of Science Experiments Before College Enrollment on Choice of Major Erin Boyd (Dr. Cynthia Powell, chemistry and biochemistry)
  • A Student-Created Textbook Replacement Courtney Richardson and Courtney Martin (Dr. Mark Phillips, management sciences)
  • Would You Jump?: Correlates of Risk-Taking and Openness Austin Fontaine, Kyle Anderson and Avery Weems (Cherisse Flanagan, psychology)
  • Problem-Solving with Monty Hall Sarah Gallaway (Dr. Connie Yarema and Dr. Mark Riggs, mathematics)


  • Mobile Devices in a Project-Based Physics Classroom: Developing NETS-S in Students Stacie McConnell (Dr. Billie McConnell, teacher education)
  • Progress Toward a Better Synthesis of a Potential Chemotherapeutic Agent Joseph Loh and Sarah Shoultz (Dr. Greg Powell, chemistry and biochemistry)
  • The Efficacy of Oromyofunctional Therapy in the Remediation of the Reverse Swallow Pattern Alyssa Bowyer and Rebecca Hopkins (Dr. Denise Barnett, communication sciences and disorders)
  • A Supervening Study into Insecticide Resistance Evan Jones (Dr. Qiang Xu, biology)
  • Academic Challenge Posed by Abilene Christian University’s Teacher Education Program Janille Stephens (Dr. Sheila Delony, teacher education)
  • Molecular and Morphological Comparisons of Mentzelia monoensis and M. montana Levi Gates (Dr. Joshua Brokaw, biology)


Outstanding Presentation Award Winners 2010

by   |  04.28.14  |  Uncategorized

Poster presentations in the social sciences, humanities and arts

  • Sandra Amstutz – An analysis of the blogging trends of 18 to 25-year-olds and how this affects the future of blogs
  • Tami Trylko – Improving infection control through evidence-based design strategies for a community hospital

Poster presentations in science, technology and mathematics

  • Nathan Pickle, Colter Lane – Construction and testing of a tunable infrared diode laser
  • Holly Perkins – Expression, purification and characterization of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl Coenzyme A Synthase double-mutant enzyme A110G/79A and the characterization of HMGS mutants D184A, D184N and S308A from enterococcus faecalis
  • Tyler Hague – Using geometry description markup language to store the geometry of FNAL E-906

Oral presentations in arts and humanities

  • Erin Halstead – The authoritarian voice in the speech of college-aged women
  • David Degge – Dig-ga dut dut dig-ga dut dut: Drumming with Steve Reich

Oral presentations in science, technology and mathematics

  • Jason Davis – Use of a naturally occurring source of sulfur to control gastrointestinal nematodes in small ruminants
  • Brittany Kight – iPhone and iPad research
  • Kelsey Young – Energy transfer, fragmentation and chemical reactivity of peptides with modified F-SAM surfaces

Oral presentations in social sciences

  • Michelle Woods, Ashley Henderson – The importance of effective professional development
  • Barrett Lawson, Jordan Traub – Online gaming and life satisfaction: A social study of the World of Warcraft

Outstanding Presentation Award Winners 2009

by   |  04.28.14  |  Uncategorized

Winning Papers in Science and Technology:

  • Outstanding: Daniel Jumper, Major: Engineering Physics. “Using Phonon Imaging to Measure CaWO4 Elastic Constants,” Mentor: Dr. Tim Head
  • Distinguished: Michelle Tonkin, Major: Biochemistry.”Going Green with Microwaves,” Mentor: Dr. Greg Powell
  • Commended: Marcus Mace, Major: Mathematics. “Factorials and Squares,” Mentor: Dr.  Alexander Karabegov

Winning Papers in Social Sciences, Humanities, Arts:

  • Outstanding: Kelline Linton, major: Journalism. “Newspaper Coverage of Texas Supreme Court Cases,” Mentor: Dr. Kenneth Pybus
  • Distinguished: Bethany McLemore, major: Music.  “Impression: Revolution,” Mentor: Dr.Gregory Straughn
  • Commended: Madison Saniuk, major: Political Science. “Chavez, Uribe, and The Prince: ‘Machiavellian’ Politics in Contemporary Latin America,” Mentor: Dr. Mel Hailey

Winning Poster Presentations in Science and Technology:

  • Outstanding: Kendra Gregory, major: Environmental Science.”The Growth Potential of TropicalForage Legumes Grown in a Semi Arid Region of Honduras,” Mentor: Dr. Florah Mhlanga
  • Distinguished: Katie Kirkpatrick, major: Animal Science. “Effect of RADEX on the Utilization ofPoor Quality Roughages by Small Ruminants,” Mentor: Dr. Florah Mhlanga
  • Commended: Dillon Thomas, major: Physics. “Quality Control for the RPC Upgrade for PHENIX,” Mentor: Dr. Rusty Towell

Winning Poster Presentations in Social Sciences, Humanities, Arts:
  • Outstanding: Anna Peters, major: Ministry to Children and Families. “Spiritual Well Being in the Classroom: The Impact of Spoken Word on College Students as a Forming Pedagogy,” Mentors: Dr. Jason Morris and Dr. David Wray
  • Distinguished: Rachel Cartwright, Alyssia Ambrose, Donae Raymundo, majors in Interdisciplinary Studies: Early Childhood through 4th Grade.”Teacher as Reflective Participant,” Mentor: Dr. Sheila Delony
  • Commended: Phillip Page, Cici Davis, majors in School Psychology. “An Exploration of  the Different Patterns Displayed in Children Who Exhibit Learned Helplessness Versus Children Who Are Effortful,” Mentor: Dr. Jennifer Shewmaker

The Springboard R&D Prize for research with potential for commercial development:

  • Rich Tanner, Jacob Poulette, majors in Information Technology; Chris Booher, Robert Butts, Anthony Malloy, majors in Computer Science. “Recreating Solomon’s Temple,” Mentor: Dr. Brian Burton

Photos from the 2014 Undergraduate Research Festival

by   |  04.08.14  |  Uncategorized

Outstanding Presentation Award Winners 2014

by   |  04.01.14  |  Prizes

Outstanding Oral Presentation in the Sciences, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics

Synthesis of an Osmium-Organic Framework

Audrey Fikes

Mentor: Greg Powell

Exploring the Proton’s Spin at PHENIX

Andrew Miller

Mentor: Rusty Towell

Investigation of Transient Interactions between Mevalonate Pathway Enzymes in E. faecalis using FRET Spectroscopy

Maxwell Moore

Mentor: Autumn Sutherlin


Outstanding Oral Presentation in the Social Sciences

By the People, For the People?: The Effect of Area Median Income on Political Connectedness

            Caleb Orr and Alex Gabriele

Mentor: Suzie Macaluso

Can There Be Too Much Choice? Empirical Explorations of Theoretical Predictions

            Levi Ritchie

Mentor: Ryan Jessup

Hysteria in Nineteenth Century Feminist Literature

            Brandy Rains

Mentor: Jeanine Varner


Outstanding Oral Presentation in the Arts and Humanities

Exploring the “Strong Female Character”: An Analysis of Audience Attitudes Towards Gender On-Screen

Toni Maisano

Mentor: Lynette Sharp Penyz


Equality in Ephesians Household Codes

            Darren Hughes

Mentor: Trevor Thompson

Social Subversion and Shakespearian Drag

            Erik Ringle

Mentor: Joe Stephenson


Outstanding Poster Presentation in the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences

Texas Children’s Hospital Design As Therapy

Kaitlin Pegoda

Mentor: Lauren Lemley

The relationship between gendered toys and stereotype threat in girls

Caitlyn Spain

Mentor: Jennifer Shewmaker


Outstanding Poster Presentation in the Sciences, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics

Microwave Synthesis of Osmium (I) Acetylene Complexes

Erin Fry

Mentor: Cynthia Powell

End Group Functionalization of Di-block Polymers Used in Making pH-Activatable Nanoprobes

Nigel Gwini

Mentor: Greg Powell

The tapY1 Gene and Natural Transformation in Aeromonas

Christina Lee

Mentor: Jennifer Huddleston

Eligibility for Undergraduate Research Festival


by   |  12.30.13  |  FAQs

1. Applicants must be current undergraduates enrolled in a college or university or are a recent (December 2013) graduates. Only current undergraduates may compete for prizes.

2. Presentations must feature undergraduate research carried out during April 2013-April 2014. If students are participants in a multi-year project, their presentations should focus on their own contributions to the project during that time frame. As you write your proposal, consult your department head and the person who mentored you in your research. They will be asked to validate your proposal after it is received.

3. If your research is collaborative, you and your teammates will submit one joint proposal for the project. Students are limited to two proposals, namely one for a paper presentation and one for a poster presentation. Each proposal must be on a different topic. Being included in a group presentation counts as one of the proposals, whether or not the student is the lead presenter.


2013 Outstanding Presentation Winners

by   |  04.05.13  |  Uncategorized

Fourteen awards were given in 5 categories.

Outstanding Poster Presentation in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics

Blaine Smith, Senior Biology major – “Klotho protects lung epithelial cells against oxidant DNA damage”

Ben Cobb, Freshmen Biology major – “Chemotherapy’s Major Flaw: Revealing Stress’ and Dexamethasone’s Counter-Productivity in Chemotherapy”

Zack Morgan, Senior Biology Major – “Establishing recA as a Gene Involved in Natural Transformation among Aeromonads”

 Outstanding Poster Presentation in Social Science, Arts and Humanities

Stephanie Fink, Senior Art major – “Lagniappe: an unexpected gift”

Elizabeth Ellery, Senior Psychology major – “Social Modeling in Media from Aardvarks to Zombies:  A comparison of prosocial and aggressive themes in  Mattel’s Monster High and Public Broadcasting System’s Arthur”

 Outstanding Oral Presentation in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics

Andrew Miller, Senior Physics major – “PyCBC: A Toolkit for Advanced-Detector Era Gravitational Wave Data Analysis”

Adam Simpson, Senior Physics and Mathematics major – “Imaging sound to measure thermal contact between AlN and Si”

David Reynolds, Senior Mathematics major – “Bridges on a Tile Floor”

 Outstanding Oral Presentation in Social Science

Kholo Theledi, Junior Family Studies and Gerentology major – “Analysis of Political Inequality”

Dylan Brugman, Senior Political Science and Sociology major – “Examining Gender Relations in the Book of Twilight.”

Kaitlyn Howell, Senior Education major, and Ellen Smith, Senior English – Teaching major – “The role of reading response in two elementary classrooms: A comparative case study”

 Outstanding Oral Presentation in Arts and Humanities

Rebekah Horton, Senior English and Marketing major – ‘Epiphanies as a Structure in “A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man’”

Heather Kregel, Senior English major – “Physicians in the Literature of Arthur Conan Doyle and Robert Louis Stevenson: Portraying the Icons of Changing Times”

Toni Maisano, Junior Communicaion major – “More Than Just a Piece in Their Games: A Rhetorical Analysis of Identification in ‘The Hunger Games’”

Poster Tips and Tricks


by   |  02.18.13  |  Conference Tips, Poster Presentations

You can print your poster at several professional copy centers in town. One good option is through CopyCat in the library.

1. Size – Your poster should be 32″ high by 40″ wide.  At the poster session, the posters will be fixed to a mounting board that is 32″ X 40″ using  binder clips.  Posters larger than this size may be creased in the process.

2. Editing – Be sure an edit your poster. Be sure and have someone else edit your poster.

3. References  – Don’t forget your references.

4. Double check the color – Make sure that the colors you are using work together and are readable. You might print your poster out on a single piece of paper on a color printer. When you print select “Scale to Fit.” Printer colors often look slightly different than screen colors, so you want to double check.

5. Use Powerpoint or Photoshop – If you would like your poster printed for free, use PowerPoint or Photoshop. If you use PowerPoint use the Poster Template for URF and save the file as .ppt. If you use Photoshop save the file as .pdf.

6.  Check out these winning posters from last year.

Oral Presentation Tips and Tricks

by   |  02.18.13  |  Conference Tips, Oral Presentations tips

Oral presentations should 12 minutes long with 2 minutes for questions. In order to keep the room on schedule, hosts will stop the speaker after 14 minutes.

A computer with PowerPoint and a projector will be available for all oral presentations.  For the sake of efficiency on the day of the conference, the PowerPoint presentations should be submitted to the Office of Undergraduate Research by 5 PM on the Friday before the festival.

The ACU Speaking Center is available to help presenters prepare their talks and their slides. You can schedule an appointment on the Speaking Center Blog.


1. Practice your talk. It is best to practice with your mentor listening, they will be the best at catching the detailed issues. Practice in front of your roommates, friends, and/or significant other. They will be able to tell you what doesn’t make sense to a non-expert. The more you practice, the more relaxed you will be the day of the Research Festival.

2. Proofread your slides. You don’t want to be up in front of people when you realize that there is a mistake on one of your slides. Have your mentor or a friend read them too.

3. Make sure your slides are readable. Remember that projectors usually aren’t as bright as computer screens. Small fonts and low contrasting colors make it hard for your audience to read the slides. It is better to use boring readable colors than cool unreadable colors.

4. Avoid wordy slides. Try to only put keywords, key phrases, and/ or images on your slides. Make your slides, practice your talk, then delete half or more of the words on your slides. It is boring to read along during a talk.

5. Practice, Practice, Practice. It is worth saying again.


Oral Presentation Rubric

by   |  02.18.13  |  Conference Tips, General Announcements, Oral Presentations tips, Rubrics

All presentations will be judged in two major categories Research Design and Presentation and Persuasiveness, each with seven subcategories. The three major areas (Arts & Humanities, Social Science, and STEM) will be judged on the same things for Presentation and Persuasiveness. Arts & Humanities has a different rubric for Research and Design

All Areas Presentation and Persuasiveness

1. Organization and Preparation

2. Use of Visual Aids

3. Use of Voice for Maximum Effect

4. Use of Gestures, Movement, and Facial Expression for Emphasis

5. Use of Eye Contact

6. Answers to Audience’s Questions

7. Explanation of the Project’s Significance

STEM and Social Sciences Research and Design Rubrics

Click to see the full Stem and Social Science Rubric.

Research Design

1. Introduction of Research

2. Statement of Hypothesis/ Research Question

3. Goals and Objectives

4. Explanation of Methodology

5. Presentation of Results and Conclusions

6. Understanding of the Problem or Challenge Addressed

7. Use of Literature in the Field

Arts and Humanities Rubric

Click to see the full Arts and Humanities Rubric.

Research Design

1. Introduction of Research

2. Statement of Thesis/ Research Question

3. Goals and Objectives

4. Explanation of Methodology or Theoretical Framework

5. Presentation of Conclusions and/or Answer(s) to Research Question

6. Explaining the Value or Relevance of the Research to the Field

7. Use of Literature in the Field