UA Little Rock Honors Winners of 2021 Student Research and Creative Works Expo

UA Little Rock finance and economics major Josiah Johnson represented a statistical analysis of the spillover effects and general efficacy of small business initiatives in small towns featured in the TV show Small Business Revolution for his project for the Student Research and Creatives Works Expo. Photo by Ben Krain.

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock has selected the winners of the 2021 Student Research and Creative Works Expo.

The annual event features the latest innovative research, service or professional work, and creative projects by the student researchers at UA Little Rock. 

The expo also featured presentations by the 2021 winners of the Signature Experience Awards, which provides students with grants to fund a signature experience, including a research project, creative activity, or community project, to enrich the students’ academic experience at UA Little Rock. 

“In its fourth year, the UA Little Rock Signature Experience has matured into a foundational pillar of undergraduate and graduate student research and creative work with the generous support of the Donaghey Foundation,” said Dr. Jeremy Ecke, director of undergraduate research at UA Little Rock. 

The winners include: 


Creative Works

Cristie Armstrong, first prize, “The Album Keeper

Logan Sellen, second prize, “Goodbye: An Exploration of Death and Grieving in a Time of Separation

Andrew Chun and Caleb LeFevre, third prize, “From Campus Tree to Campus Table”


Josiah Johnson, first prize, “Estimating the Impact of Small Businesses on Crime in the Local Community”

Aleigha Smith, second prize, “NBA and the Tax Problem”

Maximilian Holzmueller, second prize, “Detecting Plant Diseases with AI” 


Sarah Carlat, first prize, “The American Canon is Outdated


Elias Perez Reyes, first prize, “Crossbow Loading Mechanism

Chance Melby, second prize, “UA Little Rock Classified: An Intentionally Vulnerable Web Application Focused on Teaching K-12 and Undergraduate Students about Web Application Security

Phillip Bryan, third prize, “Continuous Improvement Web Application


Jaelan Nelson, first prize, “The History Behind Lorraine Hansberry’s Famous Play A Raisin in the Sun

Lindsey Carl, second prize, “The Mermaid Hunter

Alyia Goudeau, third prize, “Beyzus: The Duality and Complexity of the Nature of Beyoncé Giselle Knowles

Life Sciences

Avery McLean, first prize, “The Future of Agricultural Herbicide Regulation: The Biological Evaluation and International Response in Regard to Impending Glyphosate Regulation

Tram Nguyen, first prize, “Removal of Estrogens from Drinking Water Using Graphene Oxide-Based Filtration Membranes

Gabrielle Roberts, second prize, “Enzymatic studies of F104G SaMTAN mutant enzyme from Staphylococcus aureus

Mataya Duncan, second prize, “Active Transport Processes of Dictyostelium discoideum Rab32C

Physical Sciences

Hannah Krehbiel, first prize, “Novel FRET-based ionic materials for bio imaging applications

Tripti Shukla, second prize, “Refolding of S. aureus MTA nucleosidase to analyze biological activities

Stuti Chatterjee, second prize, “Tunable sized combination nanodrugs based on ionic materials

Kajal Desai, second prize, “Revisiting the chemical stability of molybdenum disulfide membranes

Lauren Langmaid, third prize, “Studies in the hydridic reduction reactions of alkynyl hydrazones via sigmatropic rearrangement to form allenes

Mariela Saavendra-Duran, third prize, “Carbon storage in Fourche Creek Wetlands

Hayley Turner, honorable mention, “Ouch! Determining Factors that Affect Kidney Stone Growth, Formation, Mineralogy, and Morphology

Shannon Bione, honorable mention, “Dirt on the street: Environmental and Health Impacts of Urban road dust

Shiraz Atif, honorable mention, “Cigarette litter-derived carbon materials for the adsorption of dye pollutants from water

Social Sciences

Landon DeKay, first prize, “Community Issues in Little Rock: The Interplay of Religion, Politics, and Income

Savannah James, second prize, “The Effects of Political Party Issue Focus

Alex Corrales, second prize, “Statute of Limitations Reform: A Window of Hope”



Codi Blackmon, first prize, “Begin Again: Reassessing Graduate Orientation


Awaad Al Sarkhi, first prize, “Building a Data Washing Machine for Unsupervised Entity Resolution of Unstandardized References Sources”


Mackenzie Nunnally, honorable mention, “Women in Ceramics: Forms of Femininity

Life Sciences

Ashley Esparza, first prize, “Localization and Functional Characterization of Dictyostelium discoideum Rab32c

Quinshell Smith, first prize, “Nanostructured Antibacterial Aluminum Foil Produced by Hot Water Treatment against E. coli in Meat

Qingfang He, second prize, “Molecular Mechanisms and Anatomical Development of Transfer Cells

Ilham Kadhim, third prize, “Up-regulation of Osh6 boosts an anti-aging membrane trafficking pathway toward vacuoles

Physical Sciences

Zach Smith, first prize, “Calculating the Urban Contribution of Surface Water Quality through Cl and 87Sr/86Sr Mixing Models within the Fourche Creek Watershed

Thuy Le, second prize, “Conductive thin film characterization

Social Sciences

Melissa Herrington, first prize, “Image-Based Sexual Abuse and Non-Consensual Intimate Imagery as Intimate Partner Violence

In the upper right photo, Josiah Johnson, a finance and economics major, completed a statistical analysis of the spillover effects and general efficacy of small business initiatives in small towns featured in the TV show Small Business Revolution for his first-place project for the Student Research and Creatives Works Expo. Photo by Ben Krain.

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