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K-State Today

March 25, 2024

Graduate students receive awards for outstanding research presentations at K-State GRAD Forum

Submitted by Michael Sellman

Ten graduate students were presented with awards for outstanding presentations of their research and scholarly work to the K-State community and the public during the annual K-State Graduate Research, Arts and Discovery, or K-GRAD, forum held March 20 and 21 in the K-State Student Union.

The event, hosted by K-State's Graduate Student Council and the Graduate School, is open to participation from all K-State graduate students across all disciplines. This year's event included 38 master's and doctoral students who gave oral presentations of their research on March 20, and 21 students who presented posters of their work on March 21. Presenters represented six academic colleges and 16 graduate programs.

K-GRAD provides an opportunity for graduate students to showcase their research and gain valuable experience presenting their work in a professional setting. The event involves a diverse audience and judges who are not experts in each student's area of research. Therefore, graduate students need to use less technical language to communicate their work. This experience helps them develop communication skills that will make them more competitive in the job market.

University faculty, staff and postdocs served as judges to evaluate presentations. Awardees received a $500 scholarship and will be recognized on perpetual plaques displayed in their respective departments.

The following students were selected as award recipients of the 2024 K-State GRAD Forum:

Poster presentations:

  • Sabreena Ayoub Parray, master's student in agronomy, "Pre-breeding evaluation of Pearl millet germplasms for drought tolerance in diverse environments." Parray's faculty mentors are Ramasamy Perumal, professor of agronomy, and P.V. Vara Prasad, university distinguished professor of agronomy.
  • Nirajan Piya, master's student in biological and agricultural engineering, "System development for application and testing of spray-on biodegradable mulch." Piya's faculty mentor is Ajay Sharda, associate professor of biological and agricultural engineering.
  • Pedro Henrique Goncalves Pereira de Souza, master's student in grain science, "Exploring the impact of xylanase sources and dosage on rheological properties of flour and baked product quality." De Souza's faculty mentor is Elisa Karkle, assistant professor of grain science and industry.
  • Adi Siegmann, master's student of human development and family science, specializing in couple and family therapy, "Relational factors associated with the likelihood of male therapy attendance." Siegmann's faculty mentor is Chelsea Spencer, research assistant professor of applied human sciences.
  • Brian Wolfe, master's student in veterinary biomedical science, "Biological sex differences in disease severity, lethal doses, and antibody responses after infection with h1n1 and H3N2 influenza A viruses in a mouse model." Wolfe's academic faculty mentor is Santosh Dhakal, assistant professor of diagnostic medicine and pathobiology.

Oral presentations:

  • Tucker Graff, doctoral student in grain science, "Effect of grain source on extruded feed characteristics and growth performance of rainbow trout." Graff's faculty mentor is Sajid Alavi, professor of grain science industry.
  • Nicole Kucherov, doctoral student in entomology, "What's bugging you, from a landscape point of view." Kucherov's faculty mentor is Tania Kim, assistant professor of entomology.
  • Roselle Barretto, doctoral student in biological and agricultural engineering, "Bind and Grind: hemp protein takes on adhesive challenges." Barretto's faculty mentor is Donghai Wang, professor of biological and agricultural engineering.
  • KaCee James, doctoral student in curriculum and instruction, "A twenty-year comparison of traditionally and alternatively licensed school-based agricultural education teacher retention in Kansas." James's faculty mentor is Gaea Hock, assistant professor of communications and agricultural education.
  • Endy Lopes Kailer, doctoral student in agronomy, Fungal footprints: arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi impact on dryland corn." Kailer's faculty mentor is Charles Rice, university distinguished professor of agronomy.

More information about the K-State Graduate Research, Arts, and Discovery Forum can be found on the Graduate School website. Questions about the event may be directed to Megan Miller, Graduate School assistant director of student success, at mmmiller@-state.edu.

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