The Student News Site of Dillard University


The Student News Site of Dillard University


The Student News Site of Dillard University


STEM, English students big winners in Undergraduate Research Week Competition

Frank Duplessis/Courtbouillon
Ke’Shara Holmes of Chicago, a criminal justice senior, explains her poster during the Undergraduate Research
Weekposter session Thursday, April 6

Editor’s note: This story was revised in the online version to add Learning Common winners.

NEW ORLEANS (April 13, 2017) – Students in STEM and English were the big winners at the Undergraduate Research Week Competition Thursday, April 6, in the PSB Atrium.

Results released by Lynn Strong, director of undergraduate research, showed STEM students winning five of six prizes in qualitative and quantitative research and English winning two of three creative works slots. Some 42 posters were on exhibit, Strong said.

For qualitative research, first place went to Darrell Esnault, a biology junior, and Theodore Johnson, physics sophomore, for “Assessing microbial shifts due to oil spills and the potential impact on climate change.” (Dr. Bernard Singletary, biology, mentor)

In quantitative research, first place went to Mariana DuPont, a biology senior, for “Evaluation of Pathogenicity of USH2A p.C759F mutation in retinitis pigmentosa.” (Dr. Ruby Broadway, Biology, and Dr. Rui Chen, Baylor College of Medicine, mentors)

For creative works, English senior Alia Joseph won for “Mikeal’s Big Adventure.” (Dr. Nancy Dixon, English, mentor)

Devin Brumfield won first place in the Learning Commons competition, in its second year, a collaboration between Undergraduate Research, the Will W. Alexander Library and English. Second-year students could turn in a five-page essay at the end of the fall semester about "Black Lives Matter, Black Panther Party, & the New Black Panther Party: What are some of the psychological, social, political, economic or scientific outcomes of these movements?"

Other winners included:


  • Second place: Asha Pierce, chemistry junior; Lanesha Williams, biology junior; and Ariel Daniels, biology senior, for “The relationship between poor oral hygiene and osteomyletis: how a natural mouthwash can benefit your overall health.” (Singletary, mentor)
  • Third place: Aaliyah Wilson, criminal justice senior, for “Police brutality and community policing.” (Dr. Ashraf Esmail, criminal justice, mentor)


  • Second place: Kenya Moore, biology junior, “Expression and initial characterization of human Parkin.” (Dr. Arthur Haas, LSU, mentor)
  • Third place: Aaliyah Emery, physics sophomore; Peaches Lafayette, physics pre-engineering sophomore; Justiss Tyner, math junior; Daniel Jagessar, physics junior; and Patrick Thompson, physics junior, “Monte Carlo simulation of inorganic nancomposite films fabricated with polymer nanofillers made by concurrent multi-beam multi-target maple and pulsed laser deposition.” (Dr. Abdalla Darwish, physics)


  • Second place: Mike Elie, computer science senior, and Joaquin Oluseum, business management senior, “Revive my business.” (Dr. Ming-Hsing Chiu, computer science, mentor)
  • Third place: The Dillard Review: A Journal of Arts & Letters, fall 2016/spring 2017 issue. (Dr. Mona Lisa Saloy, English, mentor)

Learning Commons

  • Second place: Mikayla Moore
  • Third place: Jeanna Johnson

Students are encouraged to do research in any field of study for the annual spring event featuring the research poster session and the Algebra Relay competition, according to Strong.  

 (Amber Fountaine-Pittman contributed to this report.)

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STEM, English students big winners in Undergraduate Research Week Competition