09:39 AM

Students Share Research Accomplishments

By Bri Phillips

The Student Poster Showcase annually promotes the success of student research and creativity at Cal State San Marcos, and the fall 2021 event was no exception. The event, held Nov. 9 outside of the University Student Union, provided a valuable learning experience for students to share their work with the campus community. 

“This is critical in getting our students prepared to join the workforce and understand what research really involves and what their career path could be if they go into research,” said Jackie Trischman, interim dean of the College of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. “The presentation skills that they gain from something like this can be very helpful in every stage of their career from this point forward.” 

The showcase was created more than a decade ago by the Committee for Undergraduate Research (CUGR) to share students’ passion for research while encouraging them to take the next steps in their future careers. This year’s event was presented by CUGR and the Office of Graduate Studies and Research.

“We are a campus that is deeply committed to undergraduate research for multiple reasons,” said Chuck De Leone, interim dean of Graduate Studies and Research. “We know that it's wonderful for our students and we know that it helps our faculty in accomplishing the research goals that they have.” 

There were 19 research posters at the showcase, covering an array of topics. 

Ciara Sanders, a master’s student in biological sciences, used the showcase as an opportunity to spread awareness around climate change. Sanders wanted to explore the effect of extreme weather conditions on horizontal gene transfer among coastal microbiomes. 

“It gives us a really good idea of how it's going to impact antibiotic resistance genes on the coast, which can be been really detrimental to human health because the of the antibiotic resistance crisis that's currently happening,” Sanders said. 

Sanders curated her experiment in the lab of biology professor Elinne Becket, who recently received an award from a state organization recognizing up-and-coming professionals in the life science industry.  

Sanders is hoping to publish her research before she begins a Ph.D. research program next fall. 

Devanshi Upadhyaya, Rosalva Romero and Kasandra Barajas studied the differences of wise reasoning in first-generation and continuing-generation college students under the direction of psychology professor Alex Huynh. Last summer, they were able to collect data from over 200 participants. 

“We're all psych majors,” Upadhyaya said. “We have a realm of amazing professors who have their own labs here. Professor Huynh was our mentor and he guided us through the study.” 

As a first-generation student, Romero was curious to explore the differences.

“I think for me personally, you oftentimes hear a lot of conversations between the experiences and differences between first gen and continuing gen,” Romero said. “I can resonate with a lot that we did with my background. This is just a great way to bring more awareness of these differences between first gen and continuing gen. It's very important.”

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