Big Ideas at the 2014 Research and Creativity Expo

On Thursday, April 10, 2014, the University’s Convocation Center was abuzz with OHIO innovation.

Over 800 students from 56 different departments and schools showcased their original research at Ohio University’s biggest-ever Research and Creative Activity Expo with live performances, presentations and interactive demonstrations. The event, which is supported by the Vernon R. and Marion Alden Endowment, was an impressive representation of what students are able to build with information and ingenuity.

 

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On Thursday, April 10, the Convocation Center was packed with posters for the 2014 Student Research and Creativity Expo. (Photo by Tyler Stabile/Ohio University Libraries)

 

With research posters occupying the arena, bleachers, and outside lobby, visitors had no shortage of projects to marvel over. This was quickly evident to a team of Ohio University staff and librarians responsible for judging winning posters for the Libraries’ Graduate, Undergraduate, Library Connection and Librarians’ Choice Awards.

Despite the wealth of choices, four winners ultimately emerged:

The winner of the $150 Libraries’ Graduate Award was Jennifer Bauer, a second-year master’s student in geological sciences, for her project, “Ordovician Atlas of Ancient Life: From Fossil Identification to the Classroom.” The poster detailed the research behind the interactive website www.ordovicianatlas.org, which strives to make geology more accessible to students, educators, amateur geologists and anyone curious about a fossil from their backyard. To date, 65 species are included in the website, and the team of students working with Bauer doesn’t plan on stopping any time soon.

 

Wesley Parker, a junior in geology and Latin American studies, discusses graduate student Jennifer Baur's research project The Ordovician Atlas of Ancient Life an identification system for different types of fossils.  The project was awarded the Libraries Graduate Award at the 2014 Student Expo in the Convocation Center on Thursday, April 10, 2014. (Photo by Tyler Stabile/Ohio University Libraries)
Wesley Parker, a junior in geology and Latin American studies, discusses graduate student Jennifer Baur’s winning research project. (Photo by Tyler Stabile/Ohio University Libraries)

 

Among those students is Wesley Parker, a PACE student and a junior in geology and Latin American studies who works on content generation for the website. He was also at the expo to deliver a lively presentation and facilitate an evolution game. His enthusiasm for the project was obvious.

“There’s the saying that history repeats itself. Well, geological history repeats itself too,” he said. “That’s why I study geology, to understand what happened so I can understand what’s going to happen.”

And the Libraries, he said, have played an invaluable role in fostering that comprehension. OhioLINK and ILLIAD have been vital access points to the resources he needs, and on the rare occasion he has trouble finding an unusual book, he knows that help is just a phone call away. He recalled asking a University librarian for help when there was a technical problem with an off-campus book delivery.

“Three days later, I had it,” he said. “The speed of [accessing] the resources is the biggest advantage for me. I don’t think I’ve ever waited more than a week.”

Aubree Ziegler, a senior in nutrition and pre-med, took home the $150 Libraries’ Undergraduate Award for her research, “Quantification of Circulating Irisin in Mice with Altered Growth Hormone Action,” a study relevant to the treatment and prevention of diabetes. Ziegler hopes to become a family physician.

 

Aubree Ziegle, a senior in nutrition and pre-med, accepts an award from Scott Seaman, dean of Libraries, for her research on The Quantification of Circulating Irisin in Mice with Altered Growth Hormone Action during the 2014 Student Expo held in the Ohio University Convocation Center on Thursday, April 10, 2014. (Photo by Tyler Stabile/Ohio University Libraries)
Aubree Ziegle, a senior in nutrition and pre-med, accepts her award from Scott Seaman, dean of Libraries, for her research on The Quantification of Circulating Irisin in Mice with Altered Growth Hormone Action. (Photo by Tyler Stabile/Ohio University Libraries)

 

Elizabeth Story, a first-year graduate in interdisciplinary arts, won the $150 Libraries’ Library Connection award. Story’s research, “Daughter of the Anfal: Addressing Kurdish Women’s Trauma Experiences through Film in ‘Chaplin of the Mountains,’” examined the lasting effects of the Anfal Genocide in the late 1980s.

 

(From left) Janet Carlton, digital Initiatives coordinator for the Libraries, and Edith Luce, senior library associate,converse with Ohio University Libraries' Connection Award winner Elizabeth Story.  The first-year graduated student discussed her research on the trauma that was experienced by Kurdish women at the 2014 Student Expo in the Convocation Center on Thursday, April 10, 2014. (Photo by Tyler Stabile/Ohio University Libraries)
(From left) Janet Carleton, digital Initiatives coordinator for the Libraries, and Edith Luce, senior library associate, converse with Ohio University Libraries’ Connection Award winner Elizabeth Story. (Photo by Tyler Stabile/Ohio University Libraries)

 

The $50 Librarian’s Choice Award went to a project heard all around the arena: David Turner Matthews’ “Custom Instruments of Senior Thesis Composition Using Funds from PURF [Provost Undergraduate Research Fund] Grant.”

 

(From left) Jacob Schlaerth,Turner Matthews and Eli Chambers, seniors in music composition, pause for a portrait with custom instruments created for Matthews' senior thesis composition at the 2014 Student Expo held in the Convocation Center on Thursday, April 10, 2014. Matthews' project was awarded the Librarian's Choice Award.  (Photo by Tyler Stabile/Ohio University Libraries)
(From left) Jacob Schlaerth,Turner Matthews and Eli Chambers, seniors in music composition, with custom instruments created for Matthews’ senior thesis composition. (Photo by Tyler Stabile/Ohio University Libraries)

 

Matthews, a senior in music composition, created the “turner winch,” an instrument that uses piano wire and a turner winch mounted to an oak platform to create the ethereal music that underscored the Expo. Turner also custom-made xylophone style instruments out of welded steel, copper pipes, and electrical metallic tubes, and created ambient noise with sound tube toys attached to ceiling fan motors.

If you missed the Expo, mark your calendars for next year. In the meantime, check out more photos from the event on the Libraries’ Flickr page and WOUB’s video coverage of the Expo.

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(Clockwise from top left): Ohio University Libraries staff members Michael Farmer, Joyce Douglas, Lorraine Wochna, Florence Gueser, Janet Carleton, Edith Luce, Lucy Conn, Dean Scott Seaman, and Annette Talbert. (Photo by Tyler Stabile/University Libraries)