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More than 250 Students Present Research at Annual Celebration

The seventh annual Celebration of Scholarship and Creativity at Worcester State University was the largest in the event’s history, with 121 poster sessions and performances and 15 oral presentations offered by students with strong faculty support. The presentations represented the work of more than 250 students.

The day began with oral presentations and panel discussions from students and professors in the Student Center, which explored topics such as a strategic plan for the Worcester Center for Crafts, the Fibonacci sequence, poverty in the United States during the 1950’s, and the recent WSU Spring Break Student Leadership Trip to Washington, D.C.

In the afternoon, the auditorium at the May Street Building was filled with students, faculty, and onlookers for the poster presentations. The research and creativity posters represented a variety of academic disciplines, from the natural and social sciences to the arts and the humanities, including:


The Honors Program awarded three winners and an honorable mention for the first annual Commonwealth Honors Project Prize Competition, which was judged during the poster session.

First Prize

George Andrews: “Timberrr!: A Study of Timber Harvesting in Massachusetts”
Faculty advisor: Dr. Allison Dunn

Second Prize

Colleen MacWilliam: “Descriptions of Concrete Objects by People with Aphasia”
Faculty advisor: Dr. Sharon Antonucci

Third Prize

Sarah Leidhold, “Superfluous Sincerity” (poetry collection)
Faculty advisor: Dr. Heather Treseler

Honorable Mention

Julie Broderick, “The On Guard Initiative”
Faculty advisor: Dr. Joan Mahoney

Prizes were also awarded for students participating in the Biology, Biotechnology, and Chemistry divisions.


First Place

Bharat Hans, Angeline Cloutier & Alyssa Geddis: “Mutational Analysis of CDK-Mediated Phosphorylation Sites in the S. cerevisiae Bud Site Selection Protein Bud3”
Second Place 

Deanna Lavoie, Megan Botti-Marino, Felicia Macnicol & Joseph Deveraux: “A Spatial Analysis of Tree Species on the Worcester State University Campus”

Third Place 

Deanna Lavoie, Megan Botti-Marino, Felicia Macnicol & Joseph Deveraux: “Analyzing the Distribution and Abundance of Sylvilagus floridanus and S. transitionalis in Southern New England”


First Place

Michael Thibault & Caitlyn Kearns: “Arthropods Found in Garden Soil Examined with the Scanning Electron Microscope”

Second Place 

Mehrnaz Sadrolashrafi: “Biocompatibility Testing Using Staphyloccocus epidermidis (ATCC 35984) Growing on Polyamide and Co-Polyester Polymers Filled with Montmorillonite Nanoparticles”
Third Place  

Sharine Eliot: “Agrobacterium tumefaciens Mutants Created Through Transposon Mutagenesis”


First Place (Tie) 

Kenneth Zielinski: “Design and Synthesis of Water Soluble PNP Pincer Complexes for Catalysis in Water”, and Edward Poku & Daniel Jazwinski: “Synthesis and Characterization of Photoactive Coumarin-Containing Polymers”

Second Place

Kayla Paradis:  “Greener Remediation of Chromium (VI) Using Cellulose Films”

Third Place

Ian Evans: “The Whoosh Bottle Demonstration Examined”