Maurine Crouch

Graduate Researchers Present Work for Peers and Community Members

At UNCG, it’s not just quality of research that matters, but the way research is communicated to the world at large.

Faculty mentors and the Graduate School emphasize the importance of conveying research concepts to potential community partners, politicians, industry professionals and others who could be decision-makers in how research is applied.

The Graduate Research and Creativity Expo is an annual showcase that allows UNCG graduate students to share their accomplishments in research, with their peers and mentors at UNCG, but also with the greater Greensboro community.

For the 2019 expo, a panel of 30 judges from a diverse set of organizations in the Greensboro community evaluated the work of the 104 graduate students making presentations and determined fifteen $1,000 winners.

Research Student Presenting her Work

“This was my second time judging the Expo,” shared attorney Ed Sharp from Legal Aid of North Carolina. “What struck me both times was the exceptionally broad range of topics of UNCG’s graduate research and the impressive real-world impact of many of the projects.  I had the honor of viewing potentially life-saving medical research, eye-opening social science projects, moving creative works, and a business proposal that has the potential to dramatically reduce the environmental impact of the global supply chain.”

The winning presentations were selected not only for the quality of the work, but the way the students communicate their research and its significance to judges.

“It was inspiring to learn about the cutting-edge projects that these emerging scholars are working on,” said Greensboro City Councilman and UNCG alumnus Justin Outling, who served as one of the judges. “From NASA-sponsored research projects in space exploration to research into ways to help farmers here in Guilford County, the work and talent on display was truly remarkable.”

Research Student Presenting his work to Judges






The graduate research expo winners, and their collaborators and mentors, are listed below:


William Woods (Interior Architecture) “Enriching our experiential conversation with the historic environment.” Faculty Mentor: Jo Ramsay Leimenstoll

Health Sciences

Alma Rosa Chanelo (Biology) “The Role of Naringenin on ERRα and Adipocyte Metabolism.” Faculty Mentor: Dr. Yashomati Patel

Mohammad Fereydouni (Nanoscience) “Transformed Fat Cells Kill Cancer Cells.” Faculty Mentor: Dr. Christopher L. Kepley

Grace Huebner, RDN (Nutrition) “Non-Dieting Focused Weight Management Curriculum in Current Accredited US Dietetic Programs.” With Dr. Jared McGuirt, PhD, M.P.H., Dr. Maryanne Perrin, PhD, M.B.A., R.D.N., Dr. Lauren Haldeman PhD, & Laurie Allen, M.Ed., R.D.N., L.D.N.  Faculty Mentor: Dr. Jared McGuirt

Melissa S. Totten (Nutrition) Sex and Genetic Factors Involved in Alterations of Behavior and Brain Iron due to Diet-Induced Obesity.” With Matthew Pierce & Dr. Keith M. Erikson. Faculty Mentor: Dr. Keith M. Erikson


Caitlin Coulter (English) “Nietzsche, Mann, Modernism: A Framework for Morality in Raymond Chandler’s Detective Fiction.” Faculty Mentor: Dr. Anthony Cuda

Natural, Physical, and Mathematical Sciences

Bhawna Bagra (Nanoscience) “Concentrate Light on Photosystem I to enhance energy conversion.” With Dr. Zheng Zeng & Dr. Taylor Mabe, Faculty Mentor: Dr. Zheng Zeng

Austin Gray (Biology) “Antibiotics in our Streams and Drinking Water: Implications on Environmental and Human Health.” With Dr. Daniel Todd & Dr. Anne E. Hershey, Faculty Mentor: Dr. Anne Hershey


Snehal Shah (Nanoscience) “Fabrication of bioinspired Polymeric Nanostructred surfaces and their potential in Nanomedicine.” With Dr. Dennis LaJuenesse, Faculty Mentor: Dr. Dennis LaJuenesse

Ryan Yarbrough (Nanoscience) “Improving Industrial Efficiency with Novel Waste Heat Recovery Technology.” With Dr. Hemali Rathnayake, Faculty Mentor: Dr. Hemali P. Rathnayake

Professional Programs

Oliver M. Thomas (Educational Leadership & Cultural Foundations) “Students Can Change Systems of Oppression.” Faculty Mentor: Dr. Leila E. Villaverde

Social Sciences 

Lauren Bailes (Human Development & Family Studies) “Goodness of Fit between Maternal Emotion Regulation and Infant Temperament Associated with Later Maternal Sensitivity.” With Dr. Esther M. Leerkes. Faculty Mentor: Dr. Esther Leerkes

Amy Hewitt (Teacher Education Higher Education) “Selecting and Sequencing Children’s Mathematical Strategies for Whole-Class Discussions.” Faculty Mentor: Dr. Victoria R. Jacobs

Joy Kelly (Counseling & Educational Development) “Surviving and Thriving: The Development and Validation of the Intimate Partner Violence Recovery Measure.” Faculty Mentor: Dr. Christine Murray

Huicheng Wu (Consumer, Apparel, & Retail Studies) “Open Costing in Apparel Sourcing:  Effects on Sustainability and the Buyer-Supplier Relationship.” With Dr. Nancy Hodges & Dr. Jin Su, IRB# 18-0265, Faculty Mentor: Dr. Nancy Hodges & Dr. Jin Su

Story by Susan Kirby-Smith, University Communications

Photography by Martin W. Kane, University Communications and Maurine Crouch