Scholarship on Display at Lewis University

Scholarship on Display at Lewis University

Published: May 2, 2016.

More than 300 Lewis University undergraduate students, graduate students and faculty showcased their scholarly work and creative endeavors April 14 during the Fifth Annual Lewis University Celebration of Scholarship.

Accepted Celebration of Scholarship entries were selected from submitted abstracts through a blind-review process. Expert and lay judges evaluated the poster presentations that reflected the best of undergraduate and graduate scholarship for 2015-16.

Several awards were given to poster presentations. Samantha Brain’s “Synthesis and Characterization of Functionalized CdS-QD Polymeric Nanocomposite Films to Mitigate Laser Attacks on Commercial Aircrafts” earned first place honors at the graduate level. Dr. Jason Keleher, chair and associate professor of chemistry, served as her mentor. Second place honors went to Erin Gee, Andrea Paladino and Rubie Costales. Dr. Janice Smith, professor and coordinator of Parish Nursing, mentored the poster “Evaluation of an Undergraduate Peer Mentor Program.” The third place poster project was “The Synergistic Effect that Semiconductors, Organometallics, and Visible Light Chromophores Have on the Photodegradation of Organic Pollutants” by Jacob Murray and Arielle Floyd. They were mentored by Dr. Keleher.

Undergraduate poster winners included Thomas Cornes with “An Analysis of Lewis University’s Waterprint.” Dr. Jerry Kavouras, chair and associate professor of biology, mentored the first place poster. Second place honors were awarded to “Emojivision: A System for Mapping Facial Expressions to Emoji” by David Lucas Campos-Faial, Evan Wunder and Nicholas Biegel. Dr. Piotr Szczurek, assistant professor and director of Master of Science Data Program, served as their faculty mentor. Samantha Bluemer’s poster “What’s Powering Lewis?” earned third place. Dr. Kavouras served as mentor.

Celebration of Scholarship is an opportunity for students to present scholarly work to a student, faculty and staff audience to celebrate the academic excellence that is central to the mission of Lewis University. Undergraduate and graduate students in any major are encouraged to submit posters, present a paper at a concurrent session or present a creative work.

Brother James Gaffney, FSC, provided a keynote address on Lasallian scholarship. He shared the three priorities: 1) Food, nutrition and health; 2) Sustainability and protection of our environment; and 3) Education and learning innovations. The overview given by Brother James was followed by brief presentations given by three Lewis University faculty members, who shared overviews of their research projects, currently funded by Lasallian Research Grants.

Dr. Seung Kim, professor and director of M.Ed. Instructional Technology, discussed her work with several international universities to study the effect of mobile technology on the college classroom. Dr. Ryan Phillips, associate professor and associate chair of Aviation and Transportation, shared how he is working on increasing crop yields with local companies by using Unmanned Aircraft Systems. Dr. Jerry Kavouras, associate professor and chair of Biology, explained how quagga and zebra mussels are dramatically changing the ecosystem in the Great Lakes.

Lewis University is a Catholic university in the Lasallian tradition offering distinctive undergraduate and graduate programs to nearly 7,000 traditional and adult students. Lewis offers multiple campus locations, online degree programs, and a variety of formats that provide accessibility and convenience to a growing student population. Sponsored by the De La Salle Christian Brothers, Lewis prepares intellectually engaged, ethically grounded, globally connected, and socially responsible graduates. The seventh largest private not-for-profit university in Illinois, Lewis has been nationally recognized by The Princeton Review and U.S. News & World Report. Visit for further information.

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