Annual CSU Student Research Competition to Include 10 Student Projects from Cal Poly

Two students with poster

By Keegan Koberl

Ten student research projects from Cal Poly have been selected to represent the university at the annual California State University (CSU) systemwide competition April 29-30 including one from the Cal Poly Engineering Computer Science and Software Engineering Department.

The delegates were chosen from 39 projects involving 57 Cal Poly undergraduate students, graduate students and recent alumni. Cal Poly’s Academic Senate Grants Review Committee Selected the 10 projects to move forward at the university’s internal competition.

Patrick Perrine (Computer Science Graduate Program) and Trevor Kirkby (Computer Science Graduate Program) will present Computational Choreography Using Human Motion Synthesis. Jonathan Daniel Ventura and Franz Kurfess, both in the Computer Science and Software Engineering Department, are the advisors.

San Francisco State University will host the 36th annual CSU Student Research Competition in a virtual format. The systemwide competition will showcase the innovative research and creative activities of undergraduate and graduate students and recent alumni in the full range of academic programs offered by the CSU.

Hannah Heath, a nutrition science major from Oceanside, California, is conducting research on gestational diabetes. “My research project presentation discussed how metabolomic profiling in plasma distinguishes metabolic alterations across the first and third trimester in women with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) versus women without GDM,” said Heath, who will graduate in June. “The preparation process for the competition has been rigorous and an incredible learning opportunity. I performed an extensive scientific literature search to interpret our research findings and spent a lot of time working to make these findings accessible to a general audience,” including jurors for both the internal and CSU competitions.

“I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to collaborate with my faculty advisor, Dr. Michael La Frano, throughout this process, and I may continue to investigate GDM during my doctoral program.”

Jacob Campbell, a graduate student in the higher education counseling in student affairs program who also works in University Advising, said, “My research project looks at how multiracial students are identified differently depending on if you look at federal reporting data versus students who self-identify. I was able to work with colleagues across the campus on this project and plan to further expand my analysis with my faculty advisor.

“I’m excited for the opportunity to present this research to representatives from across the CSU as I look for ways to refine it and dive deeper into the data,” added Campbell, of Templeton.

Students will present their work through a prerecorded video and participate in a live virtual Q&A with a jury and an audience. Students will compete by discipline category and, where feasible, by undergraduate/graduate level.

“I’m excited that these students and recent alums will have the opportunity to participate at the systemwide event and share their important research with the faculty, staff and students from across the CSU,” said Jane Lehr, director of Cal Poly’s Office of Student Research. “Each year, our students consistently show the strength of their research, scholarship and creative activity. They are excellent representatives for Cal Poly.

“Cal Poly student research answers real-world questions and contributes to solutions to problems that face the Central Coast, California, the U.S. and the world.”

The following projects will be presented at the CSU competition. They are listed with the names of the student/alumni researchers and their faculty advisors.

Addictive Effects of Humidity and Temperature on Acclimation in a Lizard

Researcher: Savannah Weaver (Biological Sciences Graduate Program)

Advisor: Emily Taylor (Biological Sciences Department)

Defining Mixed-Race College Students: Examining Graduation Gaps Between Multiracial and Monoracial Undergraduates

Researcher: Jacob Campbell (Higher Education Counseling in Student Affairs Graduate Program)

Advisor: Sonia Ramrakhiani (School of Education)

Drought Impacts on Carbon Storage in California Rangelands

Researcher: Jack Alexander (Biological Sciences) and Mary McCafferty (Mathematics)

Advisor: Jeremy James (Natural Resources Management & Environmental Sciences Department)

Effect of Coconut Oil Intake in a Pig Model of Pediatric Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

Researcher: Tanvi Gehani (Biomedical Engineering)

Advisor: Magdalena Maj (Biological Sciences Department)

Efficacy of Free Chlorine and Peracetic Acid Against Listeria monocytogenes in Spent Citrus Water

Researchers: Kimiko Casuga (Food Science Graduate Program) and Chloe McGovern (Food Science, ’21)

Advisor: Amanda Lathrop (Food Science and Nutrition Department)

An Integrated Approach for Controlling Verticillium Wilt in Strawberry

Researcher: Jack Koster (Agriculture Master’s Program, Plant Protection Specialization)

Advisor: Shashika Hewavitharana (Horticulture and Crop Science Department)

Metabolomic Profiling in Plasma Distinguishes Metabolic Alterations Across Pregnancy in Women with Gestational Diabetes: A Case-Control Time-Course Analysis

Researcher: Hannah Heath (Nutrition)

Advisors: Michael La Frano (Food Science and Nutrition Department)

Relationships Between OCD Symptoms, COVID Anxiety and Cognitive Distortions

Researcher: Ariadne Kaylor (Psychology)

Advisor: Laura Freberg (Psychology and Child Development Department)

Use of Preference Analysis to Identify Early Adopter Mind-Sets of Insect-based Food Products

Researcher: Isaac Ho (Food Science Blended Master’s Program)

Advisor: Amy Lammert (Food Science and Nutrition Department)