Student Research Conference

The Student Research Conference provides a forum for undergraduate and graduate students to present research that they have completed in conjunction with a faculty mentor. We look forward to seeing you there as a presenter, a faculty mentor, an enthusiastic audience member, or a supportive family member!

For additional information, please email us at

Student Research Conference 2017

Date: Wednesday, April 26, 2017
Time: 9:30am-6:30pm
Location: 4040 Fairfax Drive, Arlington, VA


This year's conference featured many wonderful posters and presentations, and we wish to thank everyone who participated. The following awards were presented at the conference:

Graduate Students

  • Kimberly Buckingham (Physical Therapy): The Impact of a Language Barrier on the Diagnosis and Prognosis of Comorbid Shoulder and Cervical Dysfunction: A Case Report. Faculty mentor: Skye Donovan. First Place (Oral Presentation)
  • Abigail Keisling (Physical Therapy): Process for Applying the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health Model to a Patient with Moyamoya: A Case Report. Faculty mentor: Skye Donovan. Second Place (Oral Presentation)
  • Hayley Hammond (Physical Therapy): Does Strength Training Improve Ambulation in a Patient with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome? Faculty mentor: Kelly Negley. Honorable mention (Oral Presentation)
  • Susan Geiger (Physical Therapy): Effects of a Pilates-based Exercise Program in Decreasing Functional Limitations and Kinesiophobia as They Relate to Chronic Low Back Pain: A Case Study. Faculty mentor: Diana Venskus. First Place (Poster)
  • Yasmen Ibrahim (Physical Therapy): Use of Implicit (Procedural) Learning for an Individual with Alzheimer’s Disease to Improve Balance and Gait: A Case Report. Faculty mentor: Skye Donovan. Second Place (Poster)
  • Shannon Sookhoo (Physical Therapy): Combined Posture and Breath Training for a Patient with Chronic Low Back Pain and Recent Spinal Fusion. Faculty mentor: Kelly Negley. Honorable mention (Poster)

Undergraduate Students

  • Caitlyn Laux (Psychology): How Do ‘What Is Important in Life’ and ‘Outlook on Life’ Affect Life Satisfaction? Faculty mentor: Gwendolyn Francavillo. First Place: (Oral Presentation)
  • Maria Camarca (Biology): Harnessing the Benefits of Group Learning: Developing an Educational Card Game for the Substitution and Elimination Reactions of Alcohols. Faculty mentor: Deana Jaber. Second Place (Oral Presentation)
  • Erin Williams (Multi-Disciplinary Studies): Two Classrooms, One Goal: Examining Teacher Practices, Beliefs, and Attitudes in New Zealand and the United States. Faculty mentor: Jennifer Gray. Honorable mention (Oral Presentation)
  • Amanda Sciorillo (Biology): Phenotypic Characterization of an Allelic Variant in the Mechanistic Target of Rapamycin (mTOR). Faculty mentor: Todd Rimkus. First Place (Poster)
  • Kedryn Berrian (Psychology): Perceptions of Student Veterans on Campus. Faculty mentor: Catherine Diaz-Asper. Second Place (Poster)
  • Erich Monson (Biology): In-Vitro Cultivation of Iron Oxidizing Bacteria: Mariprofundus ferrooxydans PV-1 and Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans. Faculty mentor: Alena James. Honorable mention (Poster)

We are particularly honored to have Dr. Lujendra Ojha as our keynote speaker at this year's Student Research Conference. Dr. Ojha is a Nepalese-American planetary scientist who was the first to uncover evidence of water on Mars in 2011 while working with Professor Alfred McEwen to analyze images from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO). While still an undergraduate at the University of Arizona, Ojha noticed enigmatic dark lines flowing downhill on the surface of Mars. Such lines, called “recurring slope lineae,” have been discovered at numerous sites and suggested to Ojha the existence of liquid water. In 2015 Ojha was the lead author of a study in Nature Geoscience confirming that water still flows on Mars today.

Dr. Ojha has published widely on recurring slope lineae and other topics. He currently is the Blaustein Postdoctoral Fellow in Planetary Science at Johns Hopkins University. He is also the recipient of numerous awards, including being named one of Forbes’ 2016 30 Under 30 in science. We would be remiss not noting his abilities as a heavy metal guitarist in his band called Gorkha.

Abbreviated Schedule

9:30 to 10:00 am Registration and Coffee
10:00 to 11:20 am Session I -- Oral Presentations
11:30 to 12:50 pm Session II -- Oral Presentations
1:00 to 2:00 pm Lunch and Poster Presentations
2:00 to 3:20 pm Session III - Oral Presentations
3:30 to 4:00 pm Coffee and Poster Presentations
4:00 to 5:20 pm Session IV -- Oral Presentations
5:30 to 6:30 pm Keynote Speaker and Awards
The most up-to-date draft version of the schedule is available online.