Undergraduate research recognized at Focus on Creative Inquiry poster forum


Hundreds of Clemson students gathered at the Watt Family Innovation Center to share their research at the 18th annual Focus on Creative Inquiry (FoCI) Poster Forum April 5-7. Projects from every college were presented with topics ranging from archaeology to Parkinson’s Disease to food safety to high performance computing.

Creative Inquiry is Clemson’s nationally recognized cross-disciplinary undergraduate research and experiential learning program, that gives students the opportunity to work in small groups with a faculty mentor to answer challenging questions and solve real-world problems.

The event allows students to showcase their work, reflect on their experiences and to gain skills that will help them communicate their work to the general public. The three-day event featured 240 student projects.

Hundreds of students presented posters at the 18th annual Focus on Creative Inquiry poster forum at the Watt Family Innovation Center

Ten projects received awards:

FoCI Digital Poster Award:

1st place: “Do They Move-it Move-it?: An Assessment of Severe Flooding Event Impacts on Hellbender Space Use”
Mentor: Cathy Jachowski, forestry and environmental conservation
Students: Shannon Casey and Dalton Everette, environmental and natural resources

2nd place: “Characterization of the Complete Mitochondrial Genome of the Pearl Darter Percina aurora
Mentor: Juan Antonio Baeza Migueles, biological sciences
Student: Preston Harrison, biological sciences

3rd place: “The Effect of Laser Beam Shaping on Operating Windows in Metal Additive Manufacturing”
Mentor: Fadi Abdeljawad, mechanical engineering
Students: Giovanni Orlandi and Daniel Moore, mechanical engineering

FoCI Printed Poster Award:

1st place: “Understanding Taskwork and Teamwork Perceptions of Agents in Human-Autonomy Teams”
Mentors: Sydney Begerowski and Marissa Shuffler, psychology
Student: Sarah Mendoza, psychology

2nd place: “Development of Uniform 3D Ovarian Cancer Cultures In Vitro and Investigation of their Physiological Relevance as Models of Inherent Chemoresistance”
Mentors: Kharimat Lora Alatise and Angela Alexander, bioengineering
Student: Amanda Murray, bioengineering

3rd place: “AI Prediction of Novel Autism Risk Genes by Genomic Data Mining”
Mentor: Liangjiang Wang, genetics and biochemistry
Students: Dany Rizkalla and Baylie Sisk, biochemistry; Snehal Shah, nursing; Tanner Street, chemical engineering

Popular Vote Award:

1st place: “Assessing Gender Roles and the Effects of Alcohol Use”
Mentors: Chloe Dixon, Kelsie Kell and Danielle Romero, Student Health Center
Student: Salma Shaalan, health science

Clemson Student Research Forum

The Clemson Student Research Forum is an annual poster forum held concurrently with FoCI. It is open to all graduate and undergraduate students who participate in mentored research. The winners of the Clemson Student Research Forum Awards were:

1st place: “Peptide Based Nanoplatform for Cas9/gRNA Ribonucleoprotein Cellular Delivery and Gene Editing?”
Mentors: Angela Alexander, bioengineering; Jessica Larsen, chemical and biomolecular engineering
Students: Joey Lavalla and Alyson Schwartz, bioengineering

2nd place: “Buoyant and Magnetic Assays for the Detection of Single CARS-CoV-2 Molecules in Saliva”
Mentors: Jeffrey Anker and Chuanlei Want, chemistry
Students: Clare McGrath and Wilkins Taylor, chemistry

3rd place: “Investigation into the Role of hSSB1 and hSSB2 in Homologous Recombination”
Mentor: Garrett Buzzard, biochemistry and molecular biology
Student, Emma Younger, biochemistry

For more information about any of the projects presented at FoCI and the Clemson Student Research Forum, visit the digital program.

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