The 2018 Graduate Student Expo: A Sneak Peak

Why you should go check out this year’s Graduate Student Expo; it may be the best one yet, and there’s free pizza.


When: Thursday February 15th from 9 a.m.—1:15 p.m.

Where: Tangeman University Center, 4th floor, Great Hall

An adjudicated university-wide event exposing the best of graduate students’ research, scholarship and creative works (across all disciplines), the Graduate Student Expo is a well-known competition that is equally fun as it is prestigious. And, let us not forget there will be *free pizza* for lunch at 12 p.m. between events. Graduate students showcasing their craft to an eager audience and free pizza—what could be better?

The expo consists of three main events:

  • The Creative Arts Gallery, 9 a.m.–1 p.m.: Graduate students’ artistic creations of all media forms are displayed and judged; paint, mixed media, photography, poetry, printmaking, and more.
  • The Poster Forum, 9 a.m.–Noon: Students are asked to design a poster that tangibly explains their research, while they too orally present the poster’s contents.
  • The Three Minute Thesis, 12:15–1:15 p.m.: Students speed-summarize their research in both entertaining and clear language—a performance of sorts, and all in the span of a mere three minutes. 

Creative Arts Gallery Preview

Aparna Singh, Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, MA

How I Survived: Healing Through Poetry at the Time of the Earthquake

Aparna, a survivor of the massive 2015 earthquake in Nepal, shares the poetry and writing she composed amidst the destruction. Her MA work depicts the devastating 7.8 earthquake and the ways in which it influenced Nepalese women. “It was a therapeutic outlet for me to get it all out,” says Aparna, “and to process the mental and emotional trauma that I was going through at the time.”

Sean Leavell, Fine Arts, MFA

Mother’s Milk

A 36” by 60” painting on panel depicting the notion of American Dream nostalgia existing in an environment of social and political divisiveness.

Poster Forum Preview

Victoria Dickman, Educational Studies, PhD

Comprehensive Sexual Assault Prevention Through Young Adult Literature: A Participatory Mixed Methods Study

How does a critical educational approach to sexual assault prevention that uses young adult literature and Youth Participatory Action Research (YPAR) change how students think about sexual assault? This research seeks to examine sexual assault prevention and the power of education.

Bina Ajay, Business Administration, PhD

I Am and I Am Not: Ambivalence in Entrepreneur Identification

Scholars argue that individuals either clearly identify with the title of “entrepreneur” or reject it entirely. Bina Ajay’s research examines the instances of ambivalent identification—when individuals both accept and reject certain aspects of being considered an entrepreneur, but nonetheless identify with the title, on their own terms.

Mohammad Sarim, Mechanical Engineering, PhD

Memristive Device-Based Bio-Inspired Learning for Robots

The human brain contains trillions of connections between billions of neurons. This functionality of our brain is very difficult to replicate on conventional computers, but memristive devices can mitigate this problem. Mohammad Sarim has developed a bio-inspired approach to unsupervised learning for robots.

Three Minute Thesis Preview

Shima Dalirirad, Physics, PhD

Stress and Depression Biomarkers Detection by Paper-based Biosensor

It is well-known that blood is the gold standard in monitoring the physiological state. But what if there was an easier and less invasive way of monitoring physiological health? Shima Dalirirad shares her research in developing a new diagnostic device that detects stress and depression in the human body.

Loryn Holokai, Molecular Genetics, Biochemistry, and Microbiology, PhD

Pancreatic Cancer: A War Zone

Pancreatic cancer currently has an 8% 5-year survival rate. Chemotherapy and radiation are not effective in most patients. Loryn Holokai’s research deals with discovering new ways of aiding the immune system in its fight against pancreatic cancer.


Be sure to join us February 15th in supporting your fellow graduate students while learning about the scholarship that goes on outside of your discipline. 

Written by Danniah Daher, graduate assistant to the graduate school office.