Student researchers shared their hard work with the wider Skyline College community at the 4th Annual Undergraduate Symposium of Academic Research (uSOAR) on April 19, 2024. The event is designed to provide a venue for highlighting this work and to demonstrate the college’s research opportunities.

A total of 47 students participated in uSOAR this year, and 55 attendees signed up for the event. Over 30 student researchers showed off their work in a poster session in the Fireside Dining Room of Building 6. Students, faculty, and staff circulated through the room, viewing posters and chatting with the researchers about their projects. Poster subjects included physics, sociology, public health, geography, engineering, psychology, computer science, environmental science, history, and biology. The following students presented posters: Abigail Alfonso, Andrea Ruiz, Andy Naing, Angeline Aguilar, Annabelle Galon, April Win Maung, Axel Rios, Aye Moe, Brandon Radoc, Camille Catolos, Chenran Kang, Codie Lai, Damian Greenwood, Eden Huang, Elisa Pullens, Gabriel Hapin-Aranda, Jacob Deinla, Jaden Wedlake, Jutta Smith, Kadae Aung, Lian Claire Turla, Mbalenhle Mahlangu, Megan White & Kea Kyle, Mowen Tan, Nida Currier-Herzallah, Paola Tagashira, Phone Thant Myo, Tin Htoo, Tyler Kuwada, Xiana Haro, and Yuting Duan.

Organizations tabling during the poster session included Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society (Beta Theta Omicron chapter), Psi Beta Psychology Honor Society, the Honors Transfer Program (HTP), Mathematics Engineering Science Achievement (MESA), Biology and Chemistry Scholars (BCS), Engineering and Tech Scholars (ETS), NASA, and Genentech.

The event transitioned upstairs for a welcome address by Dean Danni Redding Lapuz of the Social Science / Creative Arts Division. She spoke on a universal capacity for research, regardless of academic discipline or subject. This capacity was highlighted by her research on cultural musical practices, like street busking, as an ethnomusicologist. The keynote speech was delivered by student researcher Alexandra Szabo, who shared lessons learned on her journey from Hungary to Skyline College and her transition from studying law to psychology.

Twenty-one students delivered fifteen-minute research presentations from various disciplines, including public policy, geography, engineering, biology, sociology, psychology, and chemistry. The following students gave presentations: Alexandra Szabo, Areeba Balhki, Celina Buncayo, Erin Denny, John Michael Rada, Megan White & Kea Kyle, Miles Tolosa, Princess Esuantos, Raisa, Sahil Niwas, Simon Herrman, TuongVan Do, Veronica Johnson, the DataJam Friday Team (Eden Huang, Veronica Johnson, Pan Cho, and Yuting Duan), and the data science team including Ashley Gutierrez Carreto, Tyler Kuwada and Daria Baitazarova.

The uSOAR organizing committee included Danni Redding Lapuz (Social Science/Creative Arts), Rachel Cunningham (Geography), Jennifer Merrill (Psychology), Janice Sapigao (Honors Transfer Program), Dr. Susanne Schubert (Chemistry), Dr. Pia Walawalkar (Skyline College Library), Andy Murillo (Social Science/Creative Arts), and Niki Castello (Social Science/Creative Arts).

The organizers would like to thank San Mateo County for the Measure K funding awarded to enrich the ETS & BCS Learning Experience Project and the Barker Fund for Social Science for their financial support. We are also grateful for the support in coordinating the event provided by the Social Science/Creative Arts Division, Phi Theta Kappa, Psi Beta, the Honors Transfer Program, and Luis Prado & Benjamin Lam from the STEM Center. Lastly, this work would not have been possible without the many Skyline College faculty mentors who volunteer their time to support student research projects. Their dedication to supporting student success is key to successful events like these.

Article by Andy Murillo, Danni Redding Lapuz, Jennifer Merrill, and Susanne Schubert; Photos by Niki Castello, Pia Walawalkar and Susanne Schubert.

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