Symposium Spotlights Outstanding Student Projects


Students Martell and Montell Norman demonstrate a VR game at the 2023 Student Symposium. Photo by Alyssa Cash.

by Buffy Lockette

Seventy students from across campus, representing several disciplines, presented their academic and creative works at the annual JSU Student Symposium on Feb. 13-14.

Nearly every year since 1995, the event has provided students the opportunity to showcase their work in a professional setting to classmates, faculty and staff. At the end of the multi-day event, a panel of judges selects award winners in several categories. The following students were honored during a special ceremony in the Merrill Hall atrium on Feb. 14.

Best of College Awards

  • Arts and Humanities, Undergraduate: Alexzandria Quintero, "Pushing Perfection & Pain: How the 'Model Minority' Myth Harms Asian Americans"
  • Arts and Humanities, Graduate: Ashley Himmler, "Krishna, Christ, and the Fullness of Human Life"
  • Business and Industry, Undergraduate: Sara Adkinson, "The CBD Industry: A Silent Growing Giant"
  • Health Professions and Wellness, Graduate: Rubyn Johnson, "Fluid Periodization: A New Approach to Sports Performance"
  • Science and Mathematics, Undergraduate: Hunter Ballard and Alyssa Jones, "Investigation of TCOF1 Variations: An Insight to Treacher Collins Syndrome"
  • Science and Mathematics, Graduate: Kindall Brown, “The Relationship Between Changing Land Cover and Macroinvertebrate Diversity Over 20 Years in Choccolocco Creek, Northeast Alabama”
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences, Undergraduate: Madalyn Stott, "Barriers to Justice: The Need for American Prison Reform"

Best Papers

  • Undergraduate: Sophia Ajemba, "Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Government Sales Tax Revenue"
  • Graduate: Hannah Davis, "Fastest Velocity: JSU Fastballs"

Best Posters

  • Undergraduate: Hannah Cornett, "Analysis of Student Learning Through Elegiac Writing"
  • Graduate: Margaret Walton, "Using ArcGIS Software and Applications for Community Mapping"

Best Demonstrations

  • Undergraduate: Riley Abston, “The Sign of the Four” book design
  • Graduate: Conner Gayda, "Typography, Baseball, and the Fight for Civil Rights"

Best of Showcase: Anthony Wapshott, "How an Invasive Asiatic Clam Species Effects the Morphology of Sternotherus Odoratus"

Best Design of Program Cover: Carlie Benefield 

Houston Cole Library Award for Research Excellence: Greta Romei, "The Effectiveness of Caffeine in Exercise Performance"

Student presentations may be viewed on the JSU Student Symposium’s YouTube channel. The event program is also available online