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The NSU delegation will represent several academic disciplines.
Students to present research at Academic Summit
Event will include presentations, piano performance, art exhibit
Leah Jackson

NATCHITOCHES – Northwestern State University students and faculty will participate in the second annual University of Louisiana System Academic Summit Friday, April 12 and Saturday, April 13 on the campus of the University of Louisiana-Monroe. The celebration of academic excellence at UL System universities will encompass the previous system-wide service-learning conference, a student art exhibition and undergraduate research day. Northwestern State students were selected from among those who participated in Northwestern State’s annual Research in February to present service-learning projects, oral undergraduate research presentations, art exhibition pieces, a musical performance and poster presentations.

The Summit will open at 12:15 p.m. Friday, April 12 with an address by Dr. Lorilee R. Sandmann, professor at the University of Georgia and a member of the National Advisory Panel For Community Engagement.

MinJeong Kim of Seoul, South Korea, will present a piano performance of “Rigoletto Paraphrase” by Franz Liszt. The performance art showcase will be from 4-5 p.m. Friday, April 12 in Biedenharn Hall.

Students participating in the art exhibition are Ethan McManus of Colfax, Geoffrey Hollis of Deer Park, Texas; James Stringer of Florien, Thomas Stanford of Rosepine and Anna Dieter of Natchitoches. A reception for the juried art competition will take place from 5-7 p.m. Friday, April 12 in Bry Hall.

Student participating in oral research presentations include Cory Artis of Oberlin, Amelia M. Bertrand of Crowley and Caitlin LaCour of Dry Prong, “The Impact of Social Networking on Dependence, Sleep and Communication in College Students;” Whitney Gochinas of Rockwall, Texas; “Gender-Bending Vengeance in ‘Ticked-Off Trannies with Knives’;” Bethany LaVergne of Opelousas, “Combination of Pim kinase inhibitors with Bcl-2 antagonist in Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia;” Rachel Pair of Fort Smith, Ark., “Use It Up, Wear It Out, Make It Do: The Fashion of the World War II Era,” and Brandi Vincent of Lafayette, “My Faith is Gone!: The Complexity of Gender in Nathanial Hawthorne’s ‘Young Goodman Brown.” Presentations will begin at 12:45 p.m. Saturday, April 13.

Students who will exhibit poster research presentations are Megan Duhon of Jennings and Judy Franzen of Mandeville, “The Effects of Variations of Penicillin on Lactobacillus acidophilus;” Theresa Halle of Houston, Texas, “Effects of Dental Treatments on Self-Esteem;” Carmela Mathews of Alexandria, “Prolonged Preoperative Fasting: A Risk for Benefit;” Gretchen Murchison of Natchitoches, “It’s All About Light: How Photography uses Lighting Techniques Developed by Old Master Painters,” and Jarred Roberts of Kaplan, “Gameplay as a Reflection of Theme.”

Service-learning projects include “Bringing a Local Food Bank into the 21st Century” by Steven Piwonka of Shreveport, “New Technologies in Professional Learning Networks” by Lauren Menard, adjunct professor; “A Step in the Right Direction: A Gardening and Exercise Service-Learning Project” by Dr. Michelle Morris and Dr. Terrie Poehl and “The Safety Hazards of Lead Paint in the Natchitoches Historic District” by Mitchell Bryant of Alexandria.

The Summit will close with a faculty workshop, “Expanding Undergraduate Research” at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, April 13.

For more information on the University of Louisiana System Academic Summit, visit