SURCA presents undergraduate research scholarships – WSU Insider


PULLMAN, Wash.—More than one-third of Washington State University students who presented posters at the 2022 Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities (SURCA) Showcase on March 28 will receive awards monies for their high quality efforts.

SURCA is the one-stop WSU-wide place for students of all majors, college years, and all WSU campuses to share their research, scholarship, and mentored creative activities, and make evaluate their work by judges on a poster. At this year’s event, approximately 140 students from four campuses were among those accepted to present 112 posters to 90 judges. Professors, postdoctoral students and community experts used a common rubric to evaluate and grade presentations in nine SURCA categories.

At the awards ceremony, 43 students from WSU Pullman and Vancouver and the Global Campus were announced as recipients of 33 awards. In total, nearly $8,000 will be donated to support their efforts.

Introduce high-impact activities and learnings

“It’s always a pleasure to see what our students are researching, and to have them together to present in person in one room again this year was great,” said Jeremy Lessmann, director of the Office of Research at WSU undergraduate. He is part of the Division of Academic Engagement and Student Success (DAESA) within the Office of the Provost.

Undergraduate research is vital to our university as a high-impact activity that enriches every student’s academic pursuits, and welcoming SURCA as the premier place to showcase their work is both an honor and a tradition,” said William B. Davis, acting vice president. provost for academic engagement and student success.

SURCA 2022 winners

Four levels of awards in each SURCA category are possible, ranging from the highest crimson award to the second highest gray award, and also covering early career awards for freshmen and sophomores and a researcher award novice for those who are engaged in a project for two semesters or less.

By SURCA category, the names, majors, mentors and project titles of the best presenters for 2022 are:

Computer Science, Mathematics, Statistics and Information Science


Organism, population, ecological evolutionary biology



Molecular, Cellular and Chemical Biology


  • Alexandra Malena
    Neuroscience and Psychology
    Mentor: Ryan McLaughlin

    “Long-term effects of maternal cannabis use on offspring emotional reactivity and anxiety-like behavior in rats”

  • Olivia Hayden
    College of Biochemistry and Specialization
    Mentors: Alan Goodman and R. Marena Guzman

    “Dredd protects against Coxiella burnetii infection in Drosophila melanogaster

  • Evelyn Rowe
    Basic Medical Sciences and Specialty College
    Mentors: Alan Goodman and Chasity Trammell

    “Insulin-mediated antiviral immunity against WNV using the Drosophila melanogaster


  • Rafael Urrutia-Camargo
    College of Neuroscience and Honors
    Mentor: Ryan McLaughlin

    “Effects of 2-arachidonylglycerol habenula lateral manipulation on the immediate early expression of dorsal raphe nucleus genes”

  • Stephen Fawcett
    College of Microbiology and Spanish and Specialty
    Mentor: Michael Letko

    “Characterization of new cell lines for viral infection testing”

  • Sean Thompson
    Genetics and Cell Biology and Honors College
    Mentor: Ryan Driskell

    Natalie Williams
    Microbiology and Specialty College
    Mentor: Ryan Driskell

    “The timing of the development of Rete’s ridges in porcine skin offers insight into the formation of human skin”

  • Alexandra Puzon
    Microbiology and Specialty College
    Mentor: Steven Roberts

    “Mechanisms of characterization of indel mutations induced by APOBEC3A and APOBEC3B”

  • Ty Gray
    Mentor: David Rossi

    Justine Stricker
    Biology and neurosciences
    Mentor: David Rossi

    “Genetic drift of the C57BL6/J mouse supports a role of the cerebellum in the genetic predilection for alcohol use disorder”

Research proposal



Applied Science



Social science


Engineering and Physical Sciences


  • Gunnar Sly
    Chemical Engineering and Honors College
    Mentor: Jean-Sabin McEwen

    “Elucidating the X-ray photoelectron spectra of RhCu AAS from first principles”

  • Christine Lovingier
    Mentor: Cliff Berkman

    “PSMA Targeted Activation Probe for Imaging Cargo Release in Prostate Cancer Cells”

  • Eleanor Curtright
    Civil Engineering and Honors College
    Mentor: Pete Robichaud

    “Reflecting Ash: Determining the Spectral Signatures of Wet and Dry Forest Fire Ashes”


  • Zakora Moore
    Mentors: Bernard Van Wie and Kitana Kaiphanliam

    “Determination of the kinetic parameters of a mathematical model to optimize the growth of anticancer T cells in a perfusion bioreactor”

  • Emma Gunter
    Strategic Communication and Honors College
    Mentor: Lynne Cooper

    Jacob Mahon
    Mechanical Engineering
    Mentor: Lynne Cooper

    Reid Parson
    Mechanical Engineering and Honors College
    Mentor: Lynne Cooper

    Evan Rodriguez
    College of Bioengineering and Specialization
    Mentor: Lynne Cooper

    Calli Shafer
    Finance and Marketing
    Mentor: Lynne Cooper

    Caden Weiner
    IT and specialized college
    Mentor: Lynne Cooper

    Rachel Willison
    Mentor: Lynne Cooper

    “Inspection of aircraft skin defects by drone”

  • Emma Speight
    physics and astronomy
    Mentor: Brian Collins

    “Dynamics of the control of conductive polymer films printed under controlled airflow”

  • Joshua Bilsky
    Chemistry, Physics and Astronomy and Honors College
    Mentor: Fred Gittes

    “Statistical analysis of Brownian motion data published in Jean Perrin’s book ‘Les Atomes'”


Arts and design



Social Sciences


  • Caitlin Ottaway
    Neuroscience and Psychology and Honors College
    Mentors: Courtney Kurinec, John Hinson, Paul Whitney

    Matteya Proctor
    Neuroscience and Psychology and Honors College
    Mentors: Courtney Kurinec, John Hinson, Paul Whitney

    Cheyenne Schneider
    Neuroscience and Psychology
    Mentors: Courtney Kurinec, John Hinson, Paul Whitney

    “Sleep Loss and Risk Taking: An Integrative Review”

  • Mollee Gray
    College of Neuroscience and Honors
    Mentors: Paul Whitney and John Hinson

    “The relationship between somatic markers and working memory in risky decision making”


  • Bailey Maykovitch
    Communication and society and strategic communication
    Mentor: Erin Tomson

    “That Girl: The Evolution of Female Archetypes and Their Impact on the Mental Health of Young Women”

  • Brianna Cabral
    Criminal Justice and Criminology and Psychology
    Mentor: David Makin

    “Experiences of Public Safety Employees During the COVID-19 Pandemic”

  • sierra sumner (Global Campus)
    Mentor: Lee Daffin

    “Trauma Bonding in the Family of Origin”



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