The Student News Site of Dillard University


The Student News Site of Dillard University


The Student News Site of Dillard University


Physics majors dominate Research Week

John Lawson II/Courtbouillon
J’Kayla Lawson, a senior psychology major, explains her research poster about racial identity and aggression during Research Week in the PSB on April 12.

John Lawson II/Courtbouillon
An aerial view of Research Week poster presentations in the PSB Atrium on April 12.

NEW ORLEANS (April 20, 2018) – Physics majors dominated the 2018 LS-LAMP Conference on April 10 and Dillard University’s 2018 Undergraduate Research Commons Competition on April 12 in the PSB Atrium.

Research Week, held April 10-12, also included the annual Algebra Relay competition. Some 14 entries were made for the Research Commons component, but many had more than one student participant, according to Lynn Strong, director of undergraduate research. Another 26 participated in the Algebra Relay.

Results released Strong showed physics majors took the top three places in the quantitative research and second place in the qualitative research.

For qualitative research, first place went to senior Karmel Reeves, an urban studies and public policy major from Detroit, whose research examined public transit system in New Orleans East. Her mentor was Dr. Casey Schreiber, professor of urban studies and public policy.

The School of Humanities reigned supreme in the creative works category, with Zachary Paige-Westbrook, a junior theatre major taking first place with “Three Little Pigs: An Original Plan.” Dr. Carolyn Nur Wistrand, was his mentor from English.

The top three spots took home prizes with first place receiving $500, second place $375 and third place $150.

Other winners included:

Research posters

  • Second place were all physics majors: seniors Peaches LaFayette and Lorenzo Gordon Jr. and juniors Aaliyah Emery, Haleigh Collier, Jamaya Wilson and Bria Burras, with Dr. Abdalla Darwish, mentor.
  • Third place: Brandon Hamann, a senior in criminal justice for “The Effects of Criminal History on the College Application Process, with Dr. Ashraf Esmail, mentor.


  • First place: Tyler Bastian, a physics junior, for “Evaluation of the Pathogenicity of USH2A p.79F Mutation in Retinitis Pigmentosa,” Darwish and Baylor College of 3D-Printing of PLD Chamber and Target Platform were mentors.
  • Second place, all physics juniors: Shaelynn Moore, Derek Meilleur, Cameron Cornelius, Kevin Thompson, Pierre R. Desil, for “Optical Characterization Topography of the Thin Film AZO;NaYF4:Yb3+ Er3+ Using Atomic Force Microscope (AFM),” with Darwish, mentor).
  • Third place: Shawn Garner, a physics senior, for “Untitled,” with Dr. Eartha Johnson, dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, mentor.


  • Second place: Houston Smith, a visual arts senior, for “Dillard University English Club Journal,” with Dr. Nancy Dixon, mentor.
  • Third place: Andrew Dickerson, an English sophomore, for “The Last Prophet: A Dance of Ravens,” with Dr. Mona Lisa Saloy, mentor.

Other events during Undergraduate Research and Creative Work Week was the Algebra Relay competition April 11 and the LS-LAMP Symposium April 10.

LS-LAMP Conference

Seven physics majors placed in the top three in their division in the LS-LAMP Conference. Seniors Aziz Muhammad and Jean St. Felix placed first and third place respectively.

Five placed in the juniors division: Aailyah Emary, first place; Shaelynn Moore, second place; and Derek Meilleur, third place. Theodore Johnson and Tyler Bastian also both placed second.

Other winners:


  • Second place: Unice Kamui, mathematics and actuarial science.


  • First place: Mikanna Adkins, biology; Shamaya Martin, biology.
  • Second place: Justin Griffin, biology.
  • Third place: James McField, biology.


  • First place: Kia Smith, biology.
  • Second place: Ebony Brown, biology.
  • Third place: Christopher Ingram, computer science.


  • First place: Laura Porter, biology
  • Second place: Tianna McNair, biology.

Algebra Relay winners

Team winners earned medals and individual problem winners won prizes ranging from $150 for first place to $75 for third.

The first-place team included Unice Kamui, Justiss Tyner, Hensley Williams, Shamaya Martin and Shalynn Moore.

The second-place team included Alexis Pitt, Alexia Pugh, Dazjah Samuels, Taj Odem and Grace Pruitt.

The third-place team included Honour Williams, Ronisha McCardell, Grace Johnson, Brylon Bergeron and Halle Taylor.

Best problem-solvers with cash prizes included:

  • Problem 1: Kamui, first; Honour Williams, second; and Rachel West, third.
  • Problem 2: Pugh, first; McCardell, second; and Corneisja Harrison, third.
  • Problem 3: Hensley Williams, first; Samuels, second; and Todd Welch, third.
  • Problem 4: Martin, first; Amara Edwards, second; and Asha Pierce, third.
  • Problem 5: Moore, first; Grace Pruitt-Rhynes, second; and Taylor, third.
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Physics majors dominate Research Week