by Joy Esiemokhai

Since 1999, the colleges and disciplines of the University of West Georgia have spotlighted undergraduate research on what is known as Research Day. That celebration of scholarship and creativity culminates on Big Night, when the winners from each college or school are awarded for their stellar work before an audience of students, faculty, family, and community members.

Star Students Shine on Big Night
Natysha Wright stands next to her winning poster.

The evening began with a research poster competition, which saw students display imaginative posters of their research work. This was immediately followed by the award presentation of divisional first-place winning research works from Research Day by the respective student researchers.

The award ceremony took place after the presentations, with the first- to third-place divisional winners at Research Day honored for their exceptional efforts. Natysha Wright, winner of the poster competition was also recognized.

Organized by the Office of Undergraduate Research and Research Day area coordinators, Big Night was emceed by Carrollton author, artist, and past Georgia Counselor of the Year, Dr. Fred Richards, who proved to be an engaging and resonating host.

Below are the first-place winners from Research Day and Big Night:


Richards College of Business
Michael Hetisimer
Expedition Outdoors International: Can This Business Weather the Storm?

College of Education
Jeff Taylor and Susan Harper
The Roles of Achievement Goals and Self-Efficacy in Self-Regulated Online Study Strategies

College of Arts and Humanities: School of the Arts
Sarah Reichenbach, Carlos Rivera, Erica Randle, Chloe Belizaire, Fern Jones, Troy Chitty, and Kenya White
Devised Theatre Presentation of “Beautiful”

College of Arts and Humanities: Humanities
Andrew Barrow
A Triune Goddess: Women in Byron’s Manfred

College of Science and Mathematics
Tai Truong
Functional Genomic Characterization of a Light Sensitive Chlamydomonas Reinhardtii Mutant, 10E35, that is Defective in Photosynthesis

College of Social Sciences
Daniel Garner
Identity in Transition: An Ethnographic Study of Latin American Immigration to the United States

Tanner Health System School of Nursing
Jenna Coffelt and Samantha Hudson
Relationships Among High-Stake Progression Test Performance and Nursing Program Outcome Measures


First Place: Natysha Wright, “Utilizing Creative Projects to Engage All Learning Styles,” Ms. Kim Holder, Faculty Sponsor

Second Place: William Cornelison, “Impacts of Prescribed Fire Management in Montane Longleaf Pine Forest on Mesocarnivore Occupancy,” Dr. Andrew Edelman, Faculty Sponsor

Third Place: Evan Reed and Calleigh Hitt, “The Effects of Pressure on the Electrical Resistance of Graphite and Nano-Diamond," Dr. Ben deMayo, Faculty Sponsor

Fourth Place: Lacey Moore, “Sex, STDs, and Senior Citizens,” Dr. Paul Luken, Faculty Sponsor

Posted on April 17, 2015