The 2022 Graduate Student Council Research and Creative Achievement Symposium
By: Margaret Savoie
This year the Graduate Student Council (GSC) changed the name of its annual Research Symposium to “Research and Creative Achievement Symposium” to welcome more graduate students to participate and present their work.
“What we absorbed from the past data is that because of its name as a research symposium, students from liberal arts, business, or law school, they do not even try to present their work and we wanted to give this opportunity for all the graduate school disciplines,” said Kritika Gupta, Director of Academic and Professional Development for GSC.
2022, the 12th year for the symposium, was the first year in which there was representation from the School of Business and School of Law. In total, 82 students signed up to present their work, research, and achievements this year.
University of Mississippi alumnus Sly Spencer Lee was a featured keynote speaker. Spencer Lee, a Forbes “30 under 30” honoree, earned a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy in 2010 and a master’s degree in pharmaceutical science with an emphasis in environmental toxicology in 2012. More than just being an alumnus of the university, Spencer Lee connected with the symposium as a former winner of the GSC poster contest.
“The two people who have made this whole entire thing possible are Kritika and Elizabeth Tettleton Mason – they are the two people that without this could not have been possible,” said Ethan Booker, GSC 2021-2022 President.
Gupta expressed gratitude for “this year’s entire executive board that poured their heart and soul into this symposium.”
A name change was not the only improvement to the symposium. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion awards were also given out in each category. This helped to recognize more students than just first, second, and third place in the categories. The GSC raised $10,000 to pay for the symposium costs, in addition to the usual amount paid for the symposium from their annual budget.
As his term is coming to an end, Booker reflected on his hope for the GSC.
“My hope is that in the years to come, the GSC will continue the work that we have started this year and keep the momentum going with all the opportunities for growth – they are endless.” Booker continued, “I also hope that the future administrations will build to continue to work on relationships with the university, strengthen those relationships with university officials and continue to be the voice of graduate students.”
This year’s winners are:
First: Alaa Qrareya – Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences with an Emphasis in Pharmacology
Second: Matthew Saucier – Ph.D. in Chemistry
Third: Ryo Kataoka – Ph.D. in Health and Kinesiology
DEI award: Maliah Wilkinson – M.S. in Communication Sciences and Disorders
First: Vickie Wong – Ph.D. in Health and Kinesiology
Second: Liya Abera – Ph.D. in Engineering Science with an Emphasis in Environmental Engineering
Third: Salahuddin Mohammad – Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences with an Emphasis in Pharmacology
DEI award: Alonya Castillo – M.M. in Music with an Emphasis in Musicology
First: Savannah Draud – Ph.D. in Biological Science
Second: Nate Juda – M.C.J. in Criminal Justice
Third: Natasha Wood – Ph.D. in Psychology with an Emphasis in Experimental Psychology
DEI best presentation award: Odinaka Eze – M.A. in History
First: Amelia Craze – Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences with an Emphasis in Environmental Toxicology
Second: Samir Senapati – Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences with an Emphasis in Pharmaceutics
Third: Mohammed Ahmed – Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences with an Emphasis in Pharmacognosy
DEI award: Bethany LaValley – Ph.D. in Education with an Emphasis in Secondary Education
Creative Achievement Presentation
First: Noel Quiñones – M.F.A. in Creative Writing
Second: Danielle Buckingham – M.A. in Southern Studies
Third: Dayna Drake – M.A. in Journalism
DEI award: Joshua Nguyen – Ph.D. in English with an Emphasis in Creative Writing