The Louisiana State University of Alexandria conducted its annual Scholar Day event for students and faculty on Friday. The event, previously held on campus, was shifted to an online format due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Coordinating the event was Dr. Sandra Gilliland, Associate Professor of Psychology, who, despite the Governor’s Stay At Home order, was determined to get innovative and find a way to allow LSUA students the opportunity gain invaluable research presentation experience.
“It was a beautiful day to celebrate the hard work of our students. Many were in the midst of their research when campus shut down. This forced students and faculty mentors to get creative to ensure the completion of their work. Despite the obstacles, we are extremely proud of the number of students who were ready and willing to participate,” said Gilliland.
A total of 81 LSUA students presented academic research projects through Zoom, a video conferencing platform.
Students from a broad range of academic departments were placed in virtual rooms with students of a similar field of study. Each room contained numerous presenters, a moderator, judges, and spectators. Once students presented their research, judges and audience members were allowed to ask the presenter questions ensuring the integrity of a true interactive-based research presentation.
One exception to the live format was granted to senior mathematics major, Alexis Perkins. Perkins, an Oakdale native, has been working at Lincoln Medical Center in New York City for the past few years. During the time of the Scholar Day presentations, she was on duty as a Registration Clerk for the emergency room at the hospital.
While disappointed to miss the opportunity to conduct a live presentation, Perkins said “I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else in the world right now though. I know I am doing the greatest good for the greatest number of people.”
Numerous awards were handed out at the conclusion of the presentations. Awarded first was the Faculty Mentor Award. Faculty mentors are nominated by individual students and a panel of judges reviews the applications and selects a winner. Dr. Carol Corbat, from the Department of Biological Sciences, received the award this year.
Per one of her nominations, “Dr. Corbat’s willingness to walk beside us through research is one of the many reasons she deserves this award.”
Student awards are given in each discipline. This year’s winners are--
1st place – Elayna Canterbury
2nd place – Eva Deville
3rd place – Lauren Lee
Allied Health Award:
1st place group – Staci O’Connor, Theresa Dauzat, Jessica White
1st place – Kaelyn Rachal
2nd place – Blake Lopez
Computer Science Award:
1st place – Alexis Perkins
1st place – Khalil Frederik Smith
1st place – Mary Gustin
1st place – Charlie Charrier
1st place – Megan Bryson
1st place group – Merideth Rogers, Harleigh Walker, Romia Jamaleddin, Meher Iqbal, Alexis Daigrepont, Robert Jones, Alberto Miller
1st place – Kaitlynn Lanclos