Cal Poly Sends Ten Student Projects to Annual CSU Research Competition

SAN LUIS OBISPO — Ten research projects from Cal Poly students were selected to represent the university at the annual California State University (CSU) systemwide competition April 30 to May 1.

The projects were chosen from a total of 46 — involving 84 undergraduate students, graduate students and recent alumni from Cal Poly’s six colleges — during the university’s internal competition. Cal Poly’s Academic Senate Grants Review Committee chose the 10 to move forward.

“I’m thrilled that these students will have the opportunity to represent Cal Poly at this CSU-wide event and share their important research with the competition jurors and their peers, as well as faculty and staff members from across the CSU,” said Jane Lehr, director of Cal Poly’s Office of Student Research. “We had such a successful internal competition this year, we could have easily sent twice as many projects forward if we had been allowed to do so.”

Anika Maney, a fourth-year communication studies major from Granite Bay, California, will present her project on the potential impacts of media on social behaviors, specifically focused on the American television series “Arrested Development.”

“Being able to participate in research and these competitions truly illustrates the value of what I’ve learned and the skills I’ve developed in my time at Cal Poly,” Maney said.

In addition to her research on media effects, Maney has worked as a research analyst with the National Institutes of Health’s All of US Research Program.

“It’s been wonderful to be exposed to so many different areas of research and scholarship over the past four years,” she added, “and it’s certainly something I’m considering pursuing further in the future.”

California State Polytechnic University in Pomona will host the 35th annual CSU Student Research Competition. The systemwide competition will take place virtually and 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. 

Students will compete in 10 divisions for each of the following categories: Behavioral, Social Sciences, and Public Administration; Biological and Agricultural Sciences; Business, Economics, and Hospitality Management; Creative Arts and Design; Education; Engineering and Computer Science; Health, Nutrition, and Clinical Sciences; Humanities and Letters; Physical and Mathematical Sciences; and Interdisciplinary.

Students will present their work through a prerecorded video and be ready to 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.

“It was incredibly helpful to hear feedback from Cal Poly faculty in the internal competition and use that to prepare for the systemwide event,” said Dana Michels, who earned her master’s in biological sciences winter quarter 2021 and submitted a segment of her thesis work to the competition. “This whole experience has been a huge confidence-booster and great practice in refining technical science into something communicable.”

Michels’ project focused on analyzing tools used to understand how microscopic phytoplankton respond to changes in their ocean environments. Since completing her graduate program, Michels has transitioned from academia into marine policy and resource management as a California Sea Grant State Fellow through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration program.

“Cal Poly does a great job of providing research opportunities that can really change your college experience for the better,” Michels added. “I hope students continue to take advantage of these amazing opportunities.”

The following projects will be presented at the CSU competition. They are listed with the names of the student researcher and their faculty advisor.

Amino Acid Analog Induces Stress Response in Marine Synechococcus
Researcher: Dana Michels (Biological Sciences)
Advisor: Alexis Pasulka, (Biological Sciences)

Autonomous Instrument for Aircraft Acoustic Measurements
Researcher: Andy Wu (Mechanical Engineering)
Advisor: Russell Westphal (Mechanical Engineering)

Corn Futures Trading with Deep Learning and Satellite Imagery
Researcher: Nathaniel Andre (Business: Quantitative Analysis)
Advisor: Ziemowit Bednarek (Finance)

Development of A Robust Methodology To Obtain And Assess Myogenic Precursor Cells For Their Use In Regenerative Therapies 
Researcher: Ricardo Lasa (Biomedical Engineering)
Advisor: Trevor Cardinal (Biomedical Engineering)

Endothelialized Silicone Aneurysm Model for In Vitro Evaluation of Neurovascular Devices
Researcher: Alyssa McCulloch (Biomedical Engineering)
Advisor: Kristen O'Halloran Cardinal (Biomedical Engineering)

Exploring Engineering Faculty Beliefs and Practices on Student Evaluation and Pedagogy
Researchers: Eric Cuellar (Industrial Engineering) and Ahmed Osman (Civil Engineering)
Advisor: Ben Lutz (Mechanical Engineering)

I Don’t Care for G.O.B: Examining Social Aggression in Arrested Development
Researcher: Anika Maney (Communication Studies)
Advisor: Aubrie Adams (Communication Studies)

PolyCrypto: A Polynomial-based Architecture for Post-Quantum Secure Cryptographic Schemes
Researcher: Vasanth Sadhasivan (Computer Engineering)
Advisors: Joseph Callenes-Sloan, Andrew Danowitz, Paul Hummel (Electrical Engineering/ Computer Engineering)

Social Media Use, Body Image, and Mood Disorders in High School Students
Researcher: Jack Keefer (Economics)
Advisor: Jacqueline Doremus, Carlos Flores (Economics)

The Impact of Export Crops on Developing Countries
Researcher: Isabella Abelgas (Political Science)
Advisor: Shelley Hurt (Political Science)

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Contact: Keegan Koberl

April 26, 2021

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