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Students display their research and creative projects at the Student Expo in the Convocation Center on April 13, 2023, in Athens, Ohio.

Ohio University Student Expo 2023 showcases student research

The opportunity of a lifetime for Bobcats looking to share their research and findings arrived in the form of the annual Student Research and Creative Activity Expo. The event showcased students’ works in research and creative pieces and was given the chance to win awards and cash prizes in person. Judging took place from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. and the presentations were open to the public from 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. for anyone in Athens to view and enjoy. 

As the sun beamed down outside early on April 13, inside the Convocation Center, poster boards and models lined the hallways and the inside court. Students eagerly waited as visitors and judges approached them about the work they have done for months, some even years. The building radiated knowledge and hard work.

The Expo took place both in person at the Convocation Center and virtually through a link provided for those wanting to view it from a remote location. Additionally, the promotion of the event using #OUStudentExpo allowed anyone to see what incredible findings fellow Bobcats have made throughout the school year. 

Samantha Kruse, a junior studying journalism, has helped to put together the Student Expo and create buzz for the event. She has been busy amping people up for this incredible opportunity for students and visitors alike.

“Basically at the Expo, the students have the option to opt in to be judged,” said Kruse. “When they’re judged, they get opened up to awards and possible money awards, so that’s really cool. The judges basically consist of faculty, staff, alumni, professors and also people who come from like Google and Apple…It’s basically a big recruiting event for these students like they want to put on their best show.”

Students covered research across any subject imaginable, from mathematics and astrophysics to psychology and even art. Kruse emphasized the importance of the Expo for the students participating and the amount of variety the Expo has to showcase. 

Rachel Hall, a senior studying painting and drawing, displayed her art thesis at the Expo this year. Her thesis painting was a piece with blended strokes of pink and purple swirled on her canvas, creating forms and shapes that were abstract and colorful. Her art, she said, is up to the interpretation of the viewer and is focused more on the experience while she is painting, rather than what it is supposed to be. 

“I want people to find stuff in the work themselves,” said Hall. “It’s basically just about me being in the moment, and I want people to see that moment and find their own meaning.”

Katherine Remley, a senior studying neuroscience, looked into the associations between cannabis use and impulsive risk taking. Her work started in January of her junior year and has finally finished her research after almost a year and a half. 

“I think it’s really important to share all of the research that is going on at Ohio University,” she said. “I think it's very rewarding research. I know I myself have put a lot of time and effort into this project and I’m sure everyone else here has.”

Darrion Demase, a junior studying chemistry, has been developing different co-polymers for biomedical applications, like artificial corneas to help people with vision and cornea diseases. 

“Recently, the last like three weeks, I finished with the copolymers, and I want to finish during the DSC, glass transition temperature, and the homopolymers, but I’ve run into some troubles with that,” said Demse. “But this project’s pretty much completely done.”

His work has gone on for the entire semester and is still continuing to make changes and improvements to achieve absolute perfection. He said the Expo has been a great opportunity to practice presenting for his internship during the summer.

With so much to see and so much to do, this year’s Student Expo was a massive success for students whose hard work is finally paying off. 

“It’s just a very big opportunity for these students to go ahead and take this research they’ve been working on forever and finally present it to people and get credit for it in a different way,” Kruse said.


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