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CAS Robyn Rafferty Mathias Student Research Winners Announced

29th annual conference honors scholarly and creative works

By Patty Housman

Female student presents poster to onlookers

This year’s Robyn Mathias Student Research Conference award winners have been announced. Now in its 29th year, the conference gives College of Arts and Sciences undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral students an opportunity to present original scholarly and creative works in the form of paper and poster presentations.

The research conference is sponsored in part by a generous grant from the late AU trustee and alumna Robyn Rafferty Mathias as well as by the NASA District of Columbia Space Grant Consortium. It provides a forum for students to present their work before colleagues, faculty, and friends. College of Arts and Sciences students from all disciplines are encouraged to enter, and students in other schools may submit work that was completed in a CAS course.

The 2019 winners are as follows:

Social Sciences Poster Winner

Roger Ahlstrom
Senior, Economics
The "TOMS" Paradox: Why Consumers Fall for Good Intentioned Products, But Unproven Results

Public Health Poster Winner

Julia Harris
MA Candidate, Psychology
Minority Stress is Associated with a Stress-is-Debilitating Mindset

Neuroscience Poster Winners

Megan Mitchell
Junior, Neuroscience
An Open-Source Syringe Pump for Behavioral Neuroscience Research

Rachel Weger
Senior, Neuroscience
Outcomes of Early Cerebellar Injury in Preterm Infants

Kyra Swanson
PhD Candidate, Behavior, Cognition, and Neuroscience
Strategic Factors in the Two-Armed Bandit Task: Computational Model, Validation in Rodents, and Role of mPFC

Paper Presentation Winners, PQRS

Sarah Hoback
Sophomore, Physics and Mathematics
Atomic Simulations of Thin Films

Anthony Santana
Senior, Physics
Deep Reinforcement Learning for High Fidelity Qudit Gates

Paper Presentation Winner, Byways in the Brain

Laura Blevins (* received grand travel prize up to $1000)
PhD Candidate, Behavior, Cognition, and Neuroscience
The Cerebellum Modulates the Acquisition of Social Information in Autism

Paper Presentation Winners, Arts

Sergio Guerra Abril
Senior, Mathematics and Dance
"Transforming Spaces/Continuous Bodies:" Embodiment and Actualization of Topological Spaces Through Dance Choreography

Lauren Brown
Senior, Dance
The Confluence of Dance and Game-Play

Paper Presentation Winner, Womanhood Past and Present

Katherine Ruckle
MA Candidate, Art History
St. Wilgefortis: Considering Modern and Medieval Hirsute Audiences

Paper Presentation Winner, Living Just Enough for the City

Alaa Hammoudeh
Junior, Justice and Law
Gaps in the Achievement Map

Paper Presentation Winner, American as Apple Pie: Racism in the USA

William Helfrich
Senior, Economics and History
"Nonsense Mouthed by the Liberal Media:" the Boston Busing Crisis and Conservative Activism

Paper Presentation Winner, Black Lives in the DMV

Ebonica Sharp
PhD Candidate, Anthropology
It Was More than a Game: The Desegregation of Montgomery County Public Schools and the River Road Baseball Teams