Brown Research Symposium holds design contest

Orange Coast College students were honored in the Giles' T. Brown Research Symposium awards ceremony on March 19. Awards were given in the categories of best poster, exhibit/performance and oral presentation.

Ulrike Green, anthropology professor at OCC and head chair of the symposium committee, thanked and recognized everyone who contributed to making the event a reality. 

“That was really an incredible day today, I’m so excited to be a part of this committee, this team, and also seeing everybody working on their projects today,” Green said.  

The following award recipients were congratulated on their work for the symposium: 

Overall First Place Author and Award Winner: Morgan Reyes 

“A Comparative Approach To The Treatment Options For Median Arcuate Ligament Syndrome”

Reyes’ project included studying Median Arcuate Ligament Syndrome, a condition she’s had since the age of 12. 

“I’ve really focused on trying to make this into something that’s positive and can help others,” Reyes said.

Reyes compares the two different procedures, laparoscopic surgery and open surgery, on patients with the condition. Her presentation explains that doctors acknowledge MALS as compression of the celiac artery, but the source of painful symptoms which patients undergo isn’t certain. Reyes’ held surveys of those diagnosed with MALS, compared the health conditions following each surgery, and displayed how further research and education of the syndrome is required in the medical field in order to properly treat the condition. 

“I’m doing everything that I can to build upon this project, and I'm so thankful for the research symposium for putting this little seed in my mind to come up with a project and really cultivate it,” Reyes said. 

Poster Presentations (First Place): Sarah Guidroz

“Who Killed Kennedy: A Re-examination Through the Lens of Power and Politics”

Guidroz analyzed conspiracies connected to John F. Kennedy’s assassination. Her research aims for accuracy and authenticity by ranking the reliability of sources on theories surrounding Lee Harvey Oswald, the mob, Lyndon B. Johnson, the FBI  and the CIA. 

“What struck me as the most enticing part of my project was just the vast amounts of differing information on JFK conspiracies available in the media from 1963 to today,” Guidroz said. 

Guidroz’s research concluded that the overall likelihood of Oswald being responsible for the assassination of Kennedy was greater than the likelihood of other suspects. 

“If I could have just one impact during the future of my career, I would have to choose to shine a light on corruption, speaking truth to power.” Guidroz said. 

Poster Presentations (Second Place): Matthew Sereno and Amber Gan

“The Relationship Between Extraversion and Satisfaction With Life Amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic”

“We wanted to find out whether personality traits played a role in the coping strategies towards the social distancing policies which has been stressful for all of us,” Gan said. 

Sereno and Gan’s presentation considers the mindframe of conscientious extroverts, and discovered that their satisfaction with life decreases among the restrictions from COVID-19. The participants were able to collect data for their project from the Psi Beta National Research Project of 2020-2021 that studied the intersection of two positive psychological constructs: gratitude and appreciation. 

“Honestly, I was surprised at winning the award as it was competitive with many excellent research topics and presentations this year.” Gan said. 

Exhibit/Performance (First Place): Marimar Lopez Tovar

“Glitch in the Brain”

“This is my research project, but this is also my story,” Tovar said in her presentation

Tovar’s performance revolves around her personal experiences of eliminating anxiety through positive psychology, such as movement and therapy. Her video shows Tovar utilizing dance as an outlet to overcome general anxiety disorder. 

“I'm just glad that my battle with anxiety turned out to be something positive, and that I was able to turn it around and make something along with everyone else here,” Tovar said. 

Exhibit/Performance (Second Place): Kaylan Billings

“Reviving Historical Methods of Paint Making; A Comparative Body of Work”

Billing’s project included her producing and then comparing art made with egg tempera paint and art made with oil paint. Egg tempera paint originated in the Renaissance, when artists had limited materials and supplies. 

Billings ultimately discovered the multiple reasons late artists transitioned to oil painting through analyzing the processes in her own experiment. She was intrigued to see if she would make the same decision after examining it for herself.  

“During the future of my career, I'd hope to encourage people to experience art in ways they haven't before,” Billings said. 

Oral Presentation (First Place): Jillian Paul

“An Examination of the Current Understanding of the Biochemistry of Endometriosis”

Paul’s research was on endometriosis, better known as menstrual cramps. She learned that endometrial tissue is made up of mutated healthy tissue, not abdominal uterine tissue. The true understanding of the disease’s biochemistry will help find a cure and cause for menstrual cramps, according to Paul’s research summary. 

“I want to work towards finding an effective treatment and cure for endometriosis while educating the public and medical professionals to remove the stigma associated with the disease.” Paul said.

Oral Presentation (Second Place): Kimiya Mansour

“The Brain Never Rests: How Sleep Deprivation Impacts The Glymphatic System”

According to Mansour’s research, determining the long-term impacts of sleep deprivation, such as Alzhiemers and Parkisons, can be altered by studying a network of vessels called the glymphatic system. The system’s purpose is to remove bad proteins in the brain that causes diseases. 

She included that minimal sleep prevents the glymphatic system from operating properly, making it an important factor to study in neuroscience.  

“I would like to first thank both of my mentors, Dr. Alissa Blystone and Dr. Melissa Ferguson, they really helped me alot this semester, trying to really narrow my research, especially in neuroscience.” Mansour said. 

Nardein Khalil and Rosangela Sayuri Miyamoto Muniz won the symposium’s art contest, where they created and designed a new logo for the program. 

“The effort and the time that goes into something like this is really going to set you up well in the future, and so we are really excited to see where you end up going and what you end up doing,” said Michael Sutliff, Dean of the Kinesiology and Athletics Division at OCC. 

The symposium presentations and more information about the event are available on the OCC symposium website.

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