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Public Affairs

Grad students show research at first-ever showcase

June 10, 2004

Photo of one of the students from the showcase with his poster presentation on the San Francisco YMCA and the GLBT communityMore than 80 graduate students with a wide range of passions, from historic photos to DNA to theater design, recently showed off their culminating experience and research projects at the first ever Graduate Research and Creative Works Showcase.

Research projects crossed the spectrum ranging from whether yoga can improve the attention spans of kindergartners to the multiple realities in William Shakespeare. Special studies graduate student Julie Holder's multi-media presentation of century old photographs and stories about the Kummeyaay people stood across from physical therapy student Meredith Edwards's research on chemotherapy.

"I've discovered a lot of family history through my research," said Holder, who is Kummeyaay. Through her delving, Holder uncovered hundreds of photos taken in the late 19th century by Constance Goddard Dubois, a Connecticut woman who traveled around the U.S. photographing and recording the stories of Indians.

Upon Goddard's death, the photos were sent to a San Diego museum and the notes to the Smithsonian Institute. Through research, Holder discovered that the notes and photos belonged together and over the last five years, has assembled books of the photos with captions from Dubois's notes as well as a PowerPoint presentation in which the photos and stories that explain them are displayed together, akin to a picture book.

The showcase, which involved student researchers from the University’s eight colleges and nearly 30 departments, took place in the Administration building, where presentation booths, many complete with photos, audio components and PowerPoint presentations, lined two floors, allowing students, faculty and visitors to wander through and talk with students about their work.

"This event allowed us to showcase the excellent and varied types of research projects and creative work done by our graduate students,” said Ann Hallum, dean of graduate studies. "It was the first such event at SFSU in which we brought together graduate students from all disciplines and their faculty mentors."

In addition, students and faculty mentors received awards for their participation and commitment to research. SFSU's alumni office awarded CSU research competition-winners with checks for $100 and 62 faculty members were presented with "faculty mentor awards."

Award-winning students included:

  • Joyce Cueto, a senior from San Francisco whose major is cellular and molecular biology, for her project called "Identifying additional promoters of the fla/che operon in bacillus subtilis."
  • Ons Harrabi, a graduate student studying biomedical laboratory science who lives in San Francisco, for his time-related study of herpes simplex virus in murine retina.
  • Kevin Bourque, a graduate student from San Francisco who is studying literature, for his project titled "Written on the body: Masculination, masturbation and the female body."
  • Maliga Zita, a graduate student from San Francisco who is studying applied geosciences and researched hydrologic reconstruction of extinct, thermal spring systems using hydrobiid snail paleocology.
  • Juan Saenz from Concord, an engineering student for his study of processes and materials for MEMS integration with cryogenic devices.
  • Michael Trujillo of Pacifica, a grad student studying kinesiology for his project titled "The regularity of grip force output using prosthetic and anatomical limbs."

The event was funded in part by a grant from George Zimmer and David Edwab of The Men's Wearhouse.

-- Public Affairs Student Writer Elizabeth Davis with Christina Holmes


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Last modified July 27, 2004 by University Communications