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Winners of CCU’s Undergraduate Research Competition announced

April 29, 2022

Coastal Carolina University announced the winners of its Undergraduate Research Competition held April 12-13. Participating students shared their interests through purposeful and significant research projects. More than a dozen students were awarded first-, second-, or third-place cash prices for their work.

CCU’s Undergraduate Research Competition is an annual event that provides an avenue for students to share and promote the work they’ve done. The students put in extensive time, and often, their presentations are the culmination of years of work and research within their fields of study. All undergraduate students are eligible to enter the competition and submit abstracts for consideration.

This year, nearly 100 students submitted work. Collectively, they illustrated the considerable research talents and the wealth of experimental learning opportunities at CCU.

Presentations at this year’s Undergraduate Research Competition were judged by 60 faculty members. The first-place awards will be formally presented at the University’s Honors Convocation on Thursday, May 5.

Poster presentation winners:

First place: Caroline Conner, marine science, “Microplastic Concentration Analysis of the Atlantic Sand Fiddler Crab (Leptuca pugilator) in Murrells Inlet, South Carolina”

Faculty mentor: Eric Rosch

Second place: James Brown and Riley Melton, exercise and sport science, “Assessment of Near-Infrared Spectroscopy Assessed Muscle Oxidative Capacity in Collegiate Cross-Country Athletes and College-Aged Students”

Faculty mentors: Justin Guilkey, Jakob Lauver, and Timothy Rotarius

Third place: Kyleigh Adorno, Kayley Ozimac, Emma Kinerson, and Nikki Boon, psychology, “Neuronal Density in Navigation-Related Regions of the Adult Leopard Gecko Brain”

Faculty mentor: Ryan Yoder

Oral presentation winners: Edwards College of Humanities and Fine Arts, Spadoni College of Education and Social Sciences, and Wall College of Business Administration

First place: Bailie Willis, sustainability, “United Nations Sustainable Development Goals in Local Stores and the Impacts of Reusable Bags”

Faculty mentor: Pamela Martin

Second place: Sandra Ataalla, intelligence and security studies, “Remote Work and Its Sustainability Impact”

Faculty mentor: Pamela Martin

Third place: Kevin Joyce, intelligence and security studies, “The Muslim World: Democracy, Transition, and Terrorism”

Faculty mentor: Matthew Cobb

Oral presentation winners: Gupta College of Science

First place: Dean Wrobel, marine science, “Comparison of Body Condition in Commonly Sampled Species Found in Oxbow Lakes and Main River Habitats along the Upper and Middle Waccamaw River”

Faculty mentor: Derek Crane

Second place: Briar Ownby-Connolly, marine science, “The Use of Time-Lapse and Photography to Document the Effects of Seasonality on Dune Morphodynamic Evolution in Corolla, N.C.”

Faculty mentor: Till Hanebuth

Third place: Nicklous Przybylski, computer science, “Classification of Shock and Vibrational Data Using Contemporary Machine Learning Techniques”

Faculty mentors: William Jones and Nathan DeBardeleben