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Blinn College District students display original research and innovations at third annual Student Research Celebration

Event showcases student work presented at national conferences

Student Research Celebration

May 1, 2018

Blinn College sophomore Jazem Omar Saripada’s passion for research can barely be contained as he stands proudly next to his group’s poster in the Blinn-Bryan Campus Student Center.

The College Station native and his team members have dedicated countless hours beyond the classroom reviewing literature, developing surveys, and collecting and analyzing data to examine the relationship between social media usage, narcissism, and academic self-entitlement.

“This experience has opened my eyes to the research process,” Saripada said. “I am proud of the work we have accomplished, and I am excited to show other Blinn students and professors what we have been working on.”

Saripada joined his fellow classmates as they showcased their original research and innovations during Blinn’s third annual Student Research Celebration.

The all-day event featured approximately 10 exhibits of original work, including research posters presented at two major national conferences. Students who participated in the projects were available throughout the day to describe their work and research outcomes for visitors.

“We wanted the entire community to see the amazing things our students are doing, and get more students excited about research,” said Joyce Langenegger, Executive Director of Academic Success and coordinator of the conference. “They are doing true research — initiating projects and earning recognition for it.”

In April, five psychology students displayed their research at the 2018 Southwestern Psychological Association (SWPA) Conference. Abdullah Al-Aboosi, Ha Pham, Conner Powell, Saripada, and Connor Smith joined professors Dr. Katherine Wickes, Benjamin White, and Michael Pinney to present three posters at the event.

“The conference was a great opportunity to view research conducted by university students, as well as interact with faculty and professionals in the field,” Saripada said. “Having this research experience will definitely give me an advantage when I transfer to a four-year university.”

The SWPA Conference attracted more than 1,200 attendees and featured projects that encompassed the theme of “Tomorrow’s Challenges. Psychology’s Solutions.” Blinn students’ research covered topics relating to grit and academic self-entitlement; the relationship between social media usage, narcissism, and academic self-entitlement; and the role of happiness and gratitude in grit.

The Student Research Celebration also featured the work of seven chemistry students, three of whom recently traveled to New Orleans to present at the 254th American Chemical Society (ACS) National Meeting and Exposition. Risheil Ortiz, Celine Torres, and Kaitlin Warnke teamed with Chemistry Professor Dr. Lee Don Bienski to develop and present at the conference, which drew an estimated 15,000 industry professionals, faculty, and students.

This is the seventh year Blinn students have presented at the annual meeting.

“Blinn College is one of the few community colleges in the nation sending students to national research conferences,” Bienski said. “Our consistent performance has earned Blinn a reputation as an institution with unique undergraduate research opportunities.”

Schylar Clark, Viet Ha Pham, Reese Rusk, and Joseph Yamouni expanded upon their colleagues’ research also under the guidance of Bienski. Both groups focused on the presence of Carbon-60 fullerene solutions in vegetable oils and alkane solvents.

Biology students Mary Pierce and Juliet Taylor and Biology Professor Dr. Kelly Kissane also presented two posters at the Student Research Celebration. Their research ranged from isolating DNA gene fragments in spiders to the effects of human activity on phytoplankton.

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