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Alana Kay Hollingsworth, a freshman elementary education major from Smithville, Missouri, presented her painting, “Ecology,” during Northwest's annual Celebration of Quality. As an art minor, Hollingsworth used painting to depict her ecology as a teacher. (Photos by Toddd Weddle/Northwest Missouri State University)

Alana Kay Hollingsworth, a freshman elementary education major from Smithville, Missouri, presented her painting, “Ecology,” during Northwest's annual Celebration of Quality. As an art minor, Hollingsworth used painting to depict her ecology as a teacher. (Photos by Toddd Weddle/Northwest Missouri State University)

March 30, 2018

Students showcase academic work at annual Celebration of Quality


Connor McNeil discusses the hypochlorite reactor he designed and constructed with Him Shreshtha as part of an undergraduate research project. McNeil and Shreshtha were among the award winners at this year's Celebration of Quality.

Connor McNeil discusses the hypochlorite reactor he designed and constructed with Him Shreshtha as part of an undergraduate research project. McNeil and Shreshtha were among the award winners at this year's Celebration of Quality.

2018 Celebration of Quality award winners

Posters and displays:

  • Him Shreshtha, Connor McNeil: “A User-Made Hypochlorite Reactor That is Optimized for Disaster Relief,” sponsored by Dr. Mike Bellamy
  • Goutham Reddy Neravetla, Daiwei Chen: “Learning Agent-Oriented Software With the Architecture for Systems of Intelligent Systems (AASIS) Framework,” sponsored by Dr. Denise Case
  • Madison Barrett: “Determining the Summer 2017 composition of algal blooms in Old Women Creek National Estuary of Lake Erie using reflectance spectroscopy and algal cell counts,” sponsored by Dr. Lorita Nivanthi Mihindukulasooriya
  • Brenna Mabry: ”Determining the Composition and Transportation of Algal Blooms in the Old Woman Creek Estuary of Lake Erie Using Reflectance Spectroscopy,” sponsored by Dr. Lorita Nivanthi Mihindukulasooriya
  • Alissa Rucker: “A Social Justice Unit Plan for Eighth-Grade Students: ‘The House on Mango Street’,” sponsored Dr. Ashley Davis-Black

 

Presentations:

  • Brianna Wilmes, Erin Leatherman, Haley Klein, Emily Johnson: “Project-Based Learning: Engaged Learners Now and in the Future,” sponsored by Dr. Sue Wood
  • Aswini Vadlamudi, Haritha Kurla, Neeraja Garigipati, Naga Sravanthi Modali: “Advisor Dashboard,” sponsored by Dr. Denise Case
  • Parker Worden: “The Slavonic Dances by Antonin Dvorak,” sponsored by Dr. Ernest Kramer

More than 70 Northwest Missouri State University students representing the academic areas of natural sciences, political science, music, education and computer science, among others, presented their work Friday as the Society of President’s Scholars sponsored its annual Celebration of Quality.

Posters and displays filled the perimeter of the J.W. Jones Student Union Ballroom and students provided oral presentations during themed sessions in Student Union meeting rooms.

A panel of judges awarded a total of $500 to presenters based the quality of work, the presenter’s ability to explain the project and its value to people within and outside of that field of study. 

Parker Worden, a senior instrumental music education major from Peculiar, Missouri, was among the award winners for his presentation of “The Slavonic Dances by Antonin Dvorak,” sponsored by Professor of Music Dr. Ernest Kramer.

Worden discussed the ways Dvorak implemented theoretical and structural elements into his music to infer a national style of dance and help people from the region dance to the music. In addition to playing a sample of Dvorak’s music and projecting the sheet music, Worden involved the audience in his presentation by conducting a brief dance lesson.  

“That’s just something we’re trained to do as music teachers, to bring in a lot of different things,” he said. “It’s just fun to take it off the paper and bring it to an audience.”

Worden said he enjoys folk dancing and Kramer encouraged him to study it further.

“It’s incredible to share your work, especially with people from other disciplines,” Worden said of the opportunity to share his work at the Celebration of Quality. “I was walking around earlier and there were all these things that I never imagined, so it’s really interesting to see representations of those things and knowing what our peers are doing. It’s an opportunity for us to get better at presenting.”

Among the winners in the category for posters and displays were Him Shreshtha and Connor McNeil who constructed and discussed “A User-Made Hypochlorite Reactor That is Optimized for Disaster Relief.” Professor of Chemistry Dr. Mike Bellamy, who regularly volunteers in Haiti and works to create water purification systems there, sponsored the display.

Shreshtha, a junior nanoscience major from Nepal, and McNeil, a senior biochemistry major from Kansas City, Missouri, designed and built their water treatment system with household materials, using basic hand tools. The system chlorinates water with food grade salt, and it is capable of treating between 1,000 and 10,000 gallons of water at a time.

In addition to designing a system for daily use at schools, orphanages and hospitals, their goal was to make it affordable and easy to maintain.

“That’s one of the biggest killers of projects in impoverished countries,” McNeil said. “If they can’t do maintenance on it and it breaks, it’s gone. We focused on making a unit that is consistent and well-made so they can do it themselves.”

Shreshtha and McNeil also agreed that the opportunity to show and discuss their research with an audience at the Celebration of Quality helps them build skills they will use in their careers.

“I want to go into medicine, so doing work that helps people is my dream,” McNeil said. “Being able to be on this research project and then getting the experience to be able to show other people what we’ve been working on is fantastic.”

Sponsored jointly by the Society of President’s Scholars and the Office of the Provost, the Celebration of Quality annually invites students to submit their best work completed throughout the previous year.

The interdisciplinary symposium gives the Northwest community a chance to view student work and places it in front of an audience beyond the classroom. Submissions are accepted from all students at the University and its Missouri Academy of Science, Mathematics and Computing.

The Celebration of Quality culminated Friday night with a banquet for participating students where Dr. Cleo Samudzi, dean of the Missouri Academy, delivered a keynote address.

“We had a strong set of presentations and posters this year, and there was a wonderful array of topics,” Dr. Elyssa Ford, assistant professor of history and faculty sponsor of the Society of President's Scholars. “This event really showcases the innovative work that our students do and the support that our faculty offer.”


For more information, please contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
mhorn@nwmissouri.edu | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900

Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468