Meredith Student Researchers Present at State Conference

Sixteen Meredith College student researchers presented their work at the State of North Carolina Undergraduate Research and Creativity Symposium (SNCURCS).

Alyshena Case, ’24, said she benefited from presenting Student Perceptions on Gene Drives at Meredith College’s Campus, at SNCURCS.

“Being able to talk about your research with people from all different paths in life is a good learning experience,” said Case. “I was excited to get feedback on my project, as well as bring awareness to the topic of my presentation which is one that (as shown in my research) is not well known.”

Case said that the opportunity to share her research with a larger audience was a positive experience. “I had a lot of people offer suggestions or even ask me questions that encouraged me to think more critically about my project or in a different way than I was doing,” Case said. “Seeing the effect of sharing information and getting to collaborate with new people and gain more perspectives was definitely a great learning experience for me.” 

The full list of Meredith researchers and their topics are as follows:

  • Vanessa Jaimes Bustos, Katie Juarez Olivera, and Jakelin Santos Reyes, The synthesis of Oleanolic Acid and its Deveritaives in Yeast Cell Cycles
  • Alexandra Cardoso Garcia, Topology of the Universe
  • Alyshena Case and Megan Elliott, Student Perceptions on Gene Drives at Meredith College’s Campus
  • Alexandria Crank, Barriers to On-Campus Counseling for Meredith Students Experiencing Symptoms of Anxiety and Depression
  • Aurora Hagen, The Sex Industry: More Than a Dichotomy
  • Claire Jacoby, Examining Types of Obsessions and Compulsions During Pregnancy
  • Caroline Klein, An Exploration Into the Rates of Decomposition of House Mice (Mus musculus) using two different species of Beetles (Dermestes maculatus and Tenebrio obscurus)
  • Clary Taylor, Investigation of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) Analogues in North Carolina
  • Elisabeth Sinicrope, Characterization of reduced enzymatic browning phenotype in transgenic basil plants
  • Kara Solomon, Sophia Bogan, and Juno Pilson, Investigating the impacts of stress, Bd, and Bsal on local amphibian populations
  • Grace Stutz, Synthesis of Fluorescein and Fluorescein Derivatives
  • Avery Williams, The Visual Traditions of Serpents and Dragons in Alchemy


Faculty mentors for these projects were Dr. Karthik Aghoram, Dr. Dan Fountain, Dr. Sasha Ormond, Dr. Walda Powell, and Dr. Megan Serr. Each of them praised the student participants for their diligence and curiosity as researchers.

Karthik Aghoram, professor of biological sciences, said the research was an important learning experience for Elisabeth Sinicrope.

“This project brought together her passion for plants, curiosity, meticulousness, ability to think critically and creatively to solve problems, and of course communication skills,” said Aghoram. “She is a star research scientist in the making and this project will give her a strong foundation in how to conduct research, regardless of the topic of her future research.”

Case encourages other students to participate in SNCURS and to be confident when sharing their research.

“While presenting in front of audiences or talking to people you don’t know comes with a lot of nerves, it is important to remind yourself that you know this information better than anyone. You have been working on this project for so long and now you finally get to see the results of the research and share this information with others,” Case said. “Know that the people listening to your presentation are not there to judge you and are simply just as excited as you to learn and share.”

Melyssa Allen

News Director
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