SPHHS Announces 2023 Research Day Award Winners
Research Day is a showcase for the research and practice conducted by students in all of its departments.
The School of Public Health and Health Sciences held its annual Research Day on April 14, 2023, in the Student Union Ballroom. Now in its 26th year, SPHHS Research Day is a showcase for the research and practice conducted by students in all of its departments. Undergraduate and graduate students, as well as postdoctoral researchers, are invited to present their work to faculty, staff, peers, and the broader community.
Altogether, 69 presentations spanning all departments and all academic levels – including undergraduate, masters, doctoral, and postdoctoral presenters – served to highlight the depth and breadth of SPHHS student research. Presenters participated in a faculty-juried poster session based on content and presentation. This year, the SPHHS awarded a total of eight prizes: travel awards for best presentation in health sciences and in public health; three graduate student research awards; and three undergraduate student research awards.
"We were so thrilled to have a record number of participants for our annual SPHHS Research Day event," says Dean Anna Maria Siega-Riz. "Thank you to all who made this such a highly successful event – from all the talented student researchers and the faculty members who sponsored their work to the many students, faculty and staff who turned out to support our student presenters."
The 2023 Research Day Travel Award winners are:
- 1st place (Research Category - Health Sciences): Rong Fan, Nutrition, PHD. Fish Oil and Heat Treatment Induce Metabolic Benefits against Post-menopausal Obesity via the Activation of HSP70/TRPV1 Axis. Faculty sponsor: Soonkyu Chung.
- 1st place (Research Category - Public Health): Weidong Wang, Biostatistics & Epidemiology, PHD. A Machine Learning Approach to Predict In Vivo RNA-RNA Interaction. Faculty sponsor: Zhengqing Ouyang.
The 2023 Research Day Graduate Student Poster Award winners are:
- 1st place: Natalia Putnam, Biostatistics & Epidemiology, MS. Sexual Orientation Differences in the Association between Physical Activity and Allostatic Load: Results from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Study. Faculty sponsor: Nicole VanKim.
- 2nd place: Zoe Smith, Kinesiology, PHD. Incomplete Recovery of [ATP] in Vivo Following Muscular Fatigue in Young and Older Adults. Faculty sponsor: Jane Kent.
- 3rd place: Ruthfirst E. A. Ayande, Nutrition, PHD. A Preliminary Analysis of Factors Associated with Infant Dietary Diversity among Ghanaian Mothers during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Faculty sponsor: Elena Carbone.
The 2023 Research Day Undergraduate Student Poster Award winners are:
- 1st place: Sanjana Ravikumar, Public Health Sciences, BS. Unmet Support Needs of Black Birthing People in Greater Springfield: Insights from Community-Based Organizations. Faculty sponsor: Sarah Goff.
- 2nd place: Zachary Clark, Public Health Sciences, BS. Effects of Exposure to Benzyl Butyl Phthalate During Pregnancy and Lactation on Periductal Stroma Thickness in the Post-Involution Mammary Gland of Mice. Faculty sponsor: Laura Vandenberg.
- 3rd place: Grace Gambardello, Isabelle Hanley, Tinuola Olatunbosun, and Samara Callender, Public Health Sciences, BS. Reducing High Rates of Gonorrhea Infection Among Students on College Campuses. Faculty sponsor: Sofija Zagarins.
Editor's note: Due to a technical error in the scoring, some students were incorrectly identified as poster winners at the conclusion of the event. The event organizers are profoundly sorry for the error.