CSUSB Takes Home Two Trophies from CSU Student Research Competition

By Staff Reports

(Victor Valley)– Eleven Cal State San Bernardino students represented the university and brought home two trophies during the 34th annual CSU Student Research Competition hosted virtually by Cal State East Bay on April 24.

Edward Zakher, an undergraduate student in the Department of Economics, was named the second-place winner in the “Undergraduate Business, Economics, and Public Administration” category for his presentation titled, “A Reason to Move, a State-Wide Story.”

Nikolay Maslov and Aaron Keniston, undergraduate students in the Department of Biochemistry, were named second place winners in the “Undergraduate Physical and Mathematical Sciences” category for their presentation, “Understanding the Binding Mode of Falcilysin, an Essential Metalloprotease.”

“The Office of Student Research (OSR) would like to extend our warmest congratulations to all of the students and faculty mentors who comprised the 9 teams that represented CSUSB at this year’s competition,” the office said in an email announcing the university’s winners. “With the support and guidance of their faculty mentors, these students represented our university in an outstanding manner, particularly given the exceptional circumstances cast upon them last minute due to COVID-19 disruptions.”

The California State University system hosts the CSU Student Research Competition each year to promote excellence in undergraduate and graduate scholarly research and creative activity by recognizing outstanding student accomplishments throughout the 23 CSU campuses. Students are nominated to participate by their home campus and present written and oral overviews of their research projects at the two-day competition.

The 11 CSUSB students who participated in this year’s competition were selected from 31 students who participated in the 34th annual CSUSB Student Research Competition held in early February.

The following students and their faculty mentors participated in the 2020 CSU Research Competition:

College of Arts and Letters:
Presenter: Shane Burrell
Faculty Mentor: Mihaela Popescu
Department: Communication Studies
Title: Identification in Virtual Environments; Identifying in Virtual Reality
Competition Category: Humanities and Letters 

College of Education
Presenter: Matthew Atherton
Faculty Mentor: Eun-Ok Baek
Department: Instructional Technology
Title: The Efficiency of Using 3d Models to Teach Lifting and Rigging Concepts to Learners of Varying Spatial Ability
Competition Category: Education

College of Natural Sciences:
Presenter: Melissa Taha
Faculty Mentor: Ira Leifer and Don Blake
Department: Biochemistry
Title: Shaking the Ground with NASA
Competition Category: Physical and Mathematical Sciences

Presenters: Nikolay Maslov & Aaron Keniston
Faculty Mentor: Jeremy Mallari
Department: Biochemistry
Title: Understanding the Binding Mode of Falcilysin, an Essential Metalloprotease
Competition Category: Physical and Mathematical Sciences 

Presenter: Sonia Perez-Gamboa
Faculty Mentor: Qingquan Sun
Major: Computer Science
Title: Human Recognition Using a Convolational Long Short-term Memory (C-LSTM) Neural Network
Competition Category: Computer Science and Engineering

College of Social and Behavioral Sciences
Presenter: Natassja Martin
Faculty Mentor: Ryan Keating
Department: History
Title: The Memory of the War: A Glance into Public Support for WWII and Vietnam
Competition Category: Humanities and Letters

Presenter: Fernando Sanchez
Faculty Mentor: Isabel Huacuja Alonso
Department: History
Title: Umm Kulthum and Arual Celebrity
Competition Category: Humanities and Letters

Presenter: Edward Zakher
Faculty Mentor: Rishabh Kumar
Department: Economics
Title: A Reason to Move, a State-Wide Story
Competition Category: Business, Economics, and Public Administration

Presenters: Elizabeth Rahmani & Holly Timblin
Faculty Mentor: Jacob Jones
Major: Clinical Counseling
Title: The Mediating Role of Leisure Activities on the Relationship Between Depressive Symptoms and Cognitive Functioning in Individuals with Parkinson’s Disease
Competition Category: Behavioral and Social Sciences

The Faculty Mentor and Student Researcher Recognition Luncheon will be held virtually on May 15 from noon to 2 p.m., where the participating students, along with other outstanding faculty mentors, will be recognized for their accomplishments during Research Week. For more information, visit the Research Week website.

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