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Top projects earn Dean’s Awards

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Ashley Mubiru
Staff Writer

Megan Peralez, 2017 graduate in photography, senior physics major Justine Alandy-dy and senior sociology major Mung Kay “Karen” Shum won first place Dean’s Awards in Arts and Humanities, Natural Sciences, and Social Sciences categories, respectively, at the seventh annual College of Arts and Sciences Dean’s Awards ceremony, honoring top senior projects, Wednesday in the Harris Gallery.

Lawrence Potter, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, presented the awards.

A committee of seven faculty adjudicated the award, which also included six project finalists, or honorable mentions, two in both Arts and Humanities and Natural Sciences divisions, and one in Social Sciences.

Winners each won $400 cash prizes, and honorable mentions each won $200.

All nine honorees received engraved trophies.

For Peralez’ winning photography project, titled “3,000 Pounds,” she photographed horses. The title is based on the fact that an individual horse weighs approximately 1,000 pounds.

“I made a studio in one of the stalls,” Peralez said. “I focused on the three different breeds on what they are and what they’ve taught me,” Peralez. “It (was) basically a biography of myself seen through the horses that were in my life at the time.”

Alandy-dy, whose physics project was titled “Magneto Optical Kerr Effect,” tested the ferromagnetism of a thin film sample of iron on a glass substrate. The effect, after which the project is named, describes how light changes when reflected off a magnetic surface.

Ferromagnetism, a property most commonly seen in refrigerator magnets, is the mechanism in which electrically uncharged materials, like iron and cobalt, acquire magnetic properties.

Shum’s sociology project analyzed the role of forgiveness in the healing of those who have survived injustices.

Honorable mention winners in the Arts and Humanities category included senior communications major Flora Wong, who brought the prestigious TEDx talk to the University in the form of a three-speaker series, which took place in Morgan Auditorium last month.

It is now posted on the TEDx YouTube channel.

History major Sarah Ouhida also won honorable mention in Arts and Humanities for her project that analyzed poetry and political culture in Egypt, Syria and Palestine.

Finalists in the Natural Sciences included kinesiology major Kayla Chism for her project on kinesiophobia, or the fear of re-injury in athletes who have had anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction surgery.

Kinesiology majors Mary Hanna and Nikole Spencer also won honorable mention for their project on the effectiveness of cognitive relaxation methods, which focuses on thought processes, versus somatic relaxation techniques, which focuses on physical changes within the body while experiencing anxiety.

Joanna Mrsich, senior speech communications and political science major, won honorable mention in social science category for her project on rave culture. Mrsich’s project analyzed the perception of rave culture and its inclusion of marginalized groups, like the LGBT community.

The contest was coordinated by College of Arts and Sciences Associate Dean Ian Lising.

The initial round of submissions included abstracts with personal statements, letters of recommendation from project advisers, and a resume.

The adjudicating panel selected the finalists, who were instructed to submit their completed senior projects.

“It was a very difficult process because of the level of excellence within all of the projects,” Lising said. “Every submission was impressive, which made it difficult to choose the winners.”

Aryn Plax contributed to this story.

Ashley Mubiru can be reached at ashley.mubiru@laverne.edu.

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