Students present at annual symposium


The connection between faculty and students was ever present in last week’s 19th annual ULM Student Research Symposium held at the Student Union Building.
The symposium helps highlight both undergraduate and graduate students’ research projects. The work is either presented by the students themselves orally or in poster form for everyone to see.
Phillip Vu-Nguyen, a senior health studies management major, said he was required to participate due to it being a requirement for one of his classes. He joined a team of four which included Alexicia Thomas, Caitlin St. Blanc and Jade Morgan. They created a project based on the effects of maternal opioid use on fetal development.
“If you don’t know, the U.S. is in a opioid crisis right now, which is why we chose the subject, but we wanted to go more specific. Most people only think about drug abuse affecting the user and not how it can have an effect on others like a fetus,” Vu-Nguyen said.
Vu-Nguyen said there has been a spike in children born with neonatal abstinence syndrome which is a condition caused by a baby being exposed to certain drugs in the womb before birth.
“This can be physical deformities and abnormalities halting certain development of the baby and also affecting them mentally which can have an impact on their academics success in the future,” Vu-Nguyen said.
Due to their combined efforts, Vu-Nguyen and his partners were awarded second place in the Health Science department on Friday during the award ceremony.
Other students presented alone like Sunil Jamkatel and Greg Sova.
Senior computer science major Jamkatel said he was inspired to present a research project because one of his professors encouraged him to apply and helped him with his research.
Jamkatel got second place for his poster through the School of Business and Social Sciences.
Participating in the symposium was Sova’s fourth time presenting the research he did last summer.
“While it’s nice to travel with my poster, it feels special to come back to home turf to present my research,” said Sova, a senior atmospheric science major.
Sova received input from Todd Murphy, assistant professor of atmospheric science on his project on factors that determine airplane turbulence which is caused by two layers of the atmosphere moving at different speeds.
The Student Research Symposium has been going on for 19 years.
This year’s symposium brought in over 100 students who participated in either an oral presentation or poster presentation of their research.