Ninth Annual Student Research Day: A Rewarding Experience in Record Numbers

Record numbers marked the ninth annual California State University, Dominguez Hills Student Research Day (SRD) on Feb. 13.

Student Research Day 2014

Kinesiology student Alexander Puyot presents “The Concurrent Validity of Arterial Blood Oxygen Saturation Measurements: A Preliminary Analysis of an iPad Pulse Oximeter and Traditional Pulse Oximeter using Bluetooth.”

This year SRD featured the work of 316 students and 63 faculty mentors—a 70 percent increase in participation within the last three years alone. In its first year, in 2005, with 63 oral presentations and 11 posters, the on-campus conference, has nearly tripled in size with 180 total presentations this year, according to Laura Robles, emeritus professor of biology and acting associate vice president of Research and Funded Projects, who has been on every SRD planning committee since it was established.

“It’s really become something that is taking on a life of its own,” she said in a review of the event’s history that she shared with attendees of the SRD luncheon held in LSU’s ballroom.

Throughout the daylong event student researchers shared details of their research and creative activities in a wide array of disciplines from behavioral, biological, computer, health, and social sciences to business, public administration, creative arts, and humanities, through posters, live performances, and oral presentations—in many cases with the aid of presentation software or videos—in the Loker Student Union upstairs meeting rooms and ballrooms.

In three instances, students in the university’s online distance learning programs—two nursing and one business presentation—delivered their presentations remotely via Blackboard Collaborate.

Judges consider criteria while scoring an online presentation, "Dealing with Competition," made by MBA student William Bullard.

Judges assistant professor of public administration Theodore Byrne, chair and associate professor of management Thomas Norman, and lecturer of information system and operations management Elvira Teller consider criteria while scoring the online presentation, “Dealing with Competition,” made by MBA student William Bullard.

First-time SRD presenter and Master of Science in Nursing student (nurse educator role option) Mary Miller delivered her presentation, “Effect of STEP for Teens on Family Functioning” (mentor, assistant professor of nursing Lauren Outland), from her home in San Luis Obispo County.

“I found it very exciting to be part of Student Research Day through the Blackboard Collaborate. I am a little over four hours away. If I had not been able to present from a distance, work and personal commitments would have made it very difficult to participate,” said Miller who works as a registered nurse in the Health and Counseling Services department at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. “The best part of presenting from a distance, I felt much more comfortable presenting from my own environment. I am so thankful Dr. Outland provided me with the opportunity to share my project. On a funny note, I was actually wearing my pajama bottoms. I was really hoping I did not have to stand up for some reason.”

Occupational Therapy Program (OT) students Natalie Chu, Lauren Davis, and Candice Feng, who presented “Understanding the Evolution of an Eating Disorder: A Grounded Theory Study” (mentor, associate professor of OT Claudia Peyton), agreed that presenting has helped them to understand how they can apply their research findings to their field and future research, as well as how to focus their research in order to best help those with eating disorders.

“Presenting is almost like a validation of what we’ve been working on. It made it different than from ‘we’re just doing an assignment for class’ to ‘we are actually contributing to the body of research,’” Feng commented.

SRD2014-Urban Plan

Augustine Perez presents “Future City: Urban Planning with the Los Angeles River.”

Observers and judges also found the SRD experience rewarding.

“This year I was able to judge in the math and science category and it was a great experience to see the students’ work. A long time ago I was in the field of engineering geology and the topics took me back to a time when I studied science,” said Gregory Dern, assistant professor of negotiation, conflict resolution, and peacebuilding, who was among a record 117 judges this year. “Another great part of the experience occurred when one of the students presenting in the session I was judging, [had] also [been] a student of mine when I taught eighth grade science while earning my doctorate. I was so proud that the student followed a passion for science education!”

Recent alumna Ingrid Steiner (Class of ’13, M.A., humanities; HUX) said being able to see presentations from other students provided her with insights that will help her take a critical look at how she delivers presentations in the future.

Student Research Day 2014

Digital media arts students Shakeena Weber, Carlos Narez, Alberto Aguilar, and Daniel Ayala present “Fight Club” video.

“It was great to hear what other students are doing and how they approach their topics,” she commented, adding of her own presentation, “William Byrd II: Portrait Collector” (mentor, lecturer of art and design Kirstin Ellsworth), “It was interesting because I think most of the judges [in my session] weren’t art historians, because of the questions that they asked, how they evolved into different topics. And that was exactly what my research was about, that interdisciplinary look at things.”

As Robles indicated during the welcome luncheon, SRD, which is partially funded by the Associated Students Inc., takes an extraordinary amount of work over several months to put together. In his first year as SRD chair, John Wilkins, professor of mathematics, oversaw the SRD planning and conference committee and recruited student volunteers.

“Chairing the Student Research Day planning committee this year was a superlative professional experience. I worked with an outstanding team and I especially want to thank Jose [Lara-Ruiz] and Jessica [Mendoza] for their leadership and extensive efforts in organizing the student committee. During the fall semester, this student committee went to classrooms across campus to recruit for SRD and I give them much of the credit for the growth in SRD,” Wilkins said.

Student Research Day 2014

Psychology student Jonathan Bentley presents “Video Games may Improve Students Performance in STEM Fields.”

Senior psychology majors Lara-Ruiz and Mendoza co-chaired the SRD student committee. Lara-Ruiz said leading about 30 student volunteers who made sure the day ran smoothly helped him hone his leadership and organization skills. Additionally, he perfected other skills by presenting “Coping with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder: A Pathology Model” (mentor, chairperson and associate professor of communications Nancy Cheever).

“I think this is a great event because it provides students with the opportunity to learn presentation skills that they can apply at other conferences. Presenting here at Student Research Day has helped me present at the international level,” remarked Lara-Ruiz, who delivered four presentations at the 2013 SRD and his research findings on “Traumatic brain injury in retired National Football League players” at the 42nd International Neurological Society Annual Meeting held in Seattle, Wash., the day before this year’s SRD.

“I like presenting. I like research. I am getting ready for grad school so this is practice for me,” he said.

In addition to research, some Toros presented their creative activity. Students from the university’s dance program performed during the SRD luncheon. They will be presenting the two dances again at the American College Dance Festival Conference at Arizona State University, Tempe in March.

Dance students perform during Student Research Day Luncheon.

Dance students Alanna Neely-Sanchez, Melanie Kushida, and Ronisha Peters perform during Student Research Day Luncheon.

“Can’t Let Go,” choreographed by assistant professor and coordinator of the dance program Doris Ressl, was performed by Melanie Kushida (senior, sociology, dance minor), Alanna Neely-Sanchez (freshman, theatre arts), and Ronisha Peters (senior; business administration: sports, entertainment and hospitality management).

“At Sixes and Sevens” was choreographed by lecturer of dance Amy Michelle Allen and, along with Kushida, was performed by Adjoa Aboli (senior; criminal justice admin), Tatiana Anderson (senior, child development), Aaliyah Austin (freshman, psychology), Jaslyn Garrett (freshman, sociology), Devin McGhee (junior, theatre arts: dance, communications minor), and Megan J. Stewart junior, theatre arts: dance, psychology minor).

The day was capped off with an evening reception on the fifth floor of the University Library South Wing honoring SRD participants and announcing session winners. First place winners received $100, and second place winners were given $50.

Judges and observers examines "Hearts for Arts" exhibit pieces.

Judges and observers, lecturer of art and design Elaine Brandt, assistant professor of art and design Ellie Zenhari, alumna and former staff member Victoria Almeida (Class of ’92), and dean of the College of Arts and Humanities Munashe Furusa examine Hearts for Arts exhibit pieces.

On her 19th day as Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Ellen Junn said in her keynote address during the luncheon that events such as SRD are the epitome of high-impact activities and a critical component of one of her top goals which is to continue enhancing research, scholarly and creative activity for the faculty that involves students.

“There’s a good deal of research showing that these kinds of educational opportunities are extremely rewarding and beneficial for students and student success,” Junn said, adding that in her 28-year career in the CSU system, she has never seen this level of participation at such an event. “This campus is full of incredibly outstanding students and faculty who have agreed to mentor and work with them.”

For more information on Student Research Day, and for a complete schedule of 2014 presentations and abstracts, visit


A red asterisk (*) indicates session winners who will represent the university at the 28th Annual CSU Student Research Competition on May 2 and 3 at CSU East Bay.


First Place
Melanie Kushida, Sociology
Cultural Priming as a Mechanism for Dance Interpretation: A Social Experiment
Faculty Mentor: Sohaila Shakib, Sociology

Second Place
Destinie L. Thompson, Psychology
An Assessment of Readability, Usability, and Audience Targeting of Internet-Based Anxiety Information
Faculty Mentor: Leonardo Martinez, Chemistry



First Place
Corina Diaz, Sociology
Beyond Illegal Dumping: A Study in Long Beach, California
Faculty Mentor: Clare Weber, Sociology

Second Place
Lupita Martinez, Psychology
Depression in Latinas and Caucasians at CSUDH: The Influences of Role Conflict and Acculturative Stress on Mental Health
Faculty Mentor: Keisha Paxton, Psychology



First Place
* Geraldy Eisman, Chelsea McElwee, Walter Lopez, Victoria Moss, Psychology
Relationships Among Ethnicity, Early Childhood Factors And Neuropsychological Test Performance
Faculty Mentor: Tara Victor, Psychology

Second Place
Hugh Leonard, Jose Lara-Ruiz, Psychology
Online Vanity Fair? A Cross-Cultural Comparison of Trait Narcissism, Usage Patterns, and Need Satisfaction of American and German Facebook Users
Faculty Mentor: Larry Rosen, Psychology



First Place
Aimee Miller, Psychology
The Construction and Validation of an Online Risk Behavior Scale
Faculty Mentor: Mark Carrier, Psychology

Second Place
Abraham Ruiz, Psychology
The Impact of Text Messaging in the Classroom: Proposing Metacognition as a Possible Moderator
Faculty Mentor: Louis Mark Carrier, Psychology



First Place
Mario Castillo, Anthropology
Using Remote Sensing to Model Deforestation: The View from Soconusco, Chiapas, Mexico.
Faculty Mentor: Janine Gasco, Anthropology

Second Place
Marina Armendariz, Abraham Ruiz, Victoria vanTwist, Yessenia Magaña, Psychology
¿Que comes? Diabetes Related Eating Patterns Among At-Risk Latino College Students
Faculty Mentor: Silvia Santos, Psychology



First Place
* Cesar Deleon, Chemistry and Biochemistry
Synthesis of [7.7] Para-Cyclophane Tetra-peptide Macrocycle
Faculty Mentor: Kenneth Rodriguez, Chemistry and Biochemistry

Second Place
Kumar Tiger, Andrew Wood, Joan Oliva, Fawzia Bardag-Gorce, Biology
Autologous Cell Sheet Engineering for Biomedical Applications
Faculty Mentor: Laura Robles, Biology



First Place
Jose Perez, Biology
Anaerobic Polychlorinated Biphenyl (PCB) Bioremediation in Soil
Faculty Mentor: John Thomlinson, Biology

Second Place
Jessica Sharpe, Microbiology
Rhizoremediation For PCB Contaminated Soils
Faculty Mentor: John Thomlinson, Biology



First Place
Martin Simpson, Veronica Lepez, Computer Information Systems
Project Easy Med: Dignity and Ease in Pill Management
Faculty Mentor: Elvira Teller, Information Systems and Operations Management

Second Place
Matthew Castellanos, Management
The First Four Years of College Produces Managers but the Business World Needs CEOs Instead
Faculty Mentor: Natasa Christodoulidou, Management



First Place
* Karen Orellana, Public Administration
Leadership and Organizational Performance in the Public Sector
Faculty Mentor: Hugo Asencio, Public Administration

Second Place
Karin Lopez, Julie To, Business Administration
No Longer Child’s Play: Identifying the Minor Violent Video Game Player
Faculty Mentor: Charles Thomas, Accounting, Finance and Law



First Place
* Matthew Roesger, Brian Herrera, Rosalie Tallud, Computer Science
Mathematical Modeling of an Infectious Disease in Closed Population
Faculty Mentor: Antonia Boadi, Computer Science

Second Place –Tie
Kevin Daley, Computer Science
The use of a Raspberry Pi in control of an AUV Ballast System
Faculty Mentor: Antonia Boadi, Computer Science

Second Place –Tie
Jeremiah Hankins, Scotty Gomez, Computer Science
A Comparison of Geotagging Algorithms
Faculty Mentor: Antonia Boadi, Computer Science



First Place
Samori Price, Computer Science
Word Frequency Entity Correlation Data Visualization Application
Faculty Mentor: Antonia Boadi, Computer Science

Second Place
Boian Kolev, Computer Science
Investigations into Effective Electronic Countermeasures for Wireless interference
Faculty Mentor: Antonia Boadi, Computer Science



First Place
Alejandra Palacios, Gustavo Luna, Art and Design
Intextication: Driving While Texting
Faculty Mentor: Michele Bury, Art and Design

Second Place
Alfonso Lomeli Jr, Benjamin Vo, Art and Design
HOPE: Homeless Outreach Promoting Empathy
Faculty Mentor: Michele Bury, Art and Design



First Place
* Zachary Barton, Max Cisneros, Ana Elias, Art and Design
Hearts For The Arts
Faculty Mentor: Michele Bury, Art and Design

Second Place
Kelly McBride, Studio Art
The Reciprocity of Art
Faculty Mentor: Gilah Hirsch, Art and Design



First Place
* Paula Ranson, Nursing
Improving Glycemic Control Among Incarcerated Men
Faculty Mentor: Lauren Outland, Nursing

Second Place –Tie
Casey Cho, Health Science
Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation: Comparing Relative Strength in Relation To Parental Support and Control
Faculty Mentor: Enrique Ortega, Health Science

Second Place –Tie
Michelle Manning, Health Science
The Correlation Between Religiosity and Behavioral Domains among Italian Adolescents
Faculty Mentor: Enrique Ortega, Health Science



First Place
Leah Brustman, Annie Bravo, Raymond Hernandez, Occupational Therapy
Collaboration Between Teachers and Occupational Therapists in a School-Based Setting: A Phenomenology
Faculty Mentor: Claudia Peyton, Occupational Therapy

Second Place

Leah Fry, Justine Escobar, Debby Askarinam, Occupational Therapy
Living with Chronic Pain: A Phenomenological Study of Individuals with Rheumatic Conditions
Faculty Mentor: Claudia Peyton, Occupational Therapy



First Place
Sara Ho, Vanessa Ladson, Jessica Lam, Occupational Therapy
Transition to College for African-American Males: A Narrative Analysis
Faculty Mentor: Claudia Peyton, Occupational Therapy

Second Place
Jessica Obenberger, Laura Perez, Natasha Wolhein, Occupational Therapy
A Narrative Analysis Exploring Individuals’ Lived Experience of Chronic Pain Over Time
Faculty Mentor: Claudia Peyton, Occupational Therapy



First Place
* Cassandra Hudson, Rachel Jao, Meghan Moss, Jacqueline Sanchez, Occupational Therapy
Adaptation in Adolescents and Young Adults with Spinal Cord Injury: A Mechanism for Change
Faculty Mentor: Claudia Peyton, Occupational Therapy

Second Place
So Young (Lydia) Choi, Stacey Seidman Conchelos, Christine Ebrahim, Occupational Therapy
Health Aging within a Chorus Organization: An Ethnography of Sweet Adelines International
Faculty Mentor: Claudia Peyton, Occupational Therapy



First Place
* Bonnie McKenzie, History
Boy Scouts of America: Good for God, Good for Business
Faculty Mentor: Erica Verba, History

Second Place
Ingrid Steiner, HUX
William Byrd II: Portrait Collector
Faculty Mentor: Kirstin Ellsworth, Art and Design



First Place
Jazmin V. Escobar, Chicana/o Studies
A Fat Chicana’s History: Reclaiming Social Constructs of Body Image, Sex, and Abortion
Faculty Mentor: Corina Benavides Lopez, Chicana/o Studies

Second Place
Amanda Reyes, English: Rhetoric and Composition
Drifting Through Composition: What Does Space Have to do With It?
Faculty Mentor: David Sherman, English



First Place
James Lloyd McIntosh, Negotiation, Conflict Resolution and Peacebuilding
Food Not Bombs: Is Giving Away Free Food an Act of Domestic Terrorism?
Faculty Mentor: Margaret Manning, Negotiation, Conflict Resolution and Peacebuilding

Second Place
Amany Bishara, Negotiation, Conflict Resolution and Peacebuilding
The Role of Peace Education in Transforming Divided Nation; Case Study: Egypt
Faculty Mentor: Nancy Erbe, Negotiation, Conflict Resolution and Peacebuilding



First Place
* Warren Nanney, Chemistry
Cost Effective Ion Selective Electrodes from Metal-azo Complexes
Faculty Mentor: Barbara Belmont, Chemistry

Second Place
Jeff Guevara, Melissa Blacketer, Jose Venegas, Physics
Detector R&D for Free and Bound Neutron Oscillation and Annihilation at NNbarX
Faculty Mentor: Kenneth Ganezer, Physics



First Place
Eddie Banuelos-Casillas, Physics
ClaRA: The CLAS12 Reconstruction and Analysis Framework
Faculty Mentor: John Price, Physics

Second Place
Victor Bell, Chemistry
Developing Live Imaging Techniques to Analyze Early Stages of Lung Tumor Formation
Faculty Mentor: Kenneth Rodriguez, Chemistry



First Place
Olivia Garcia, Alexander Puyot, Kinesiology and Recreation
The Concurrent Validity of Arterial Blood Oxygen Saturation Measurements: A Preliminary Analysis of an iPad Pulse Oximeter and Traditional Pulse Oximeter Using Bluetooth
Faculty Mentor: Scott Cheatham, Kinesiology and Recreation

Second Place
Vernadine De Jesus, Psychology
Personality on Parent Child Communication About Sex in African American and Hispanics
Faculty Mentor: Carl Sneed, Psychology



First Place
Taline Shishoian, Biology
Disrupted Gene Expression In Human Cerebral Cavernous Malformations
Faculty Mentor: Rebecca Stockton, Pediatrics; LABioMed

Second Place
Joseph Luevanos, Efrian Carlin, David Romberg, Business Administration
Holy Trinity Compensation Research Report
Faculty Mentor: Thomas Norman, Business Administration, Management and Marketing


  1. Tak Yee Poon says:

    Well done, Alexander Puyot.

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