Mercer University Announces Winners from Annual BEAR Day and Engineering Expo


MACON – The following winners were announced as part of Mercer University's fourth annual Breakthroughs in Engagement, Arts and Research (BEAR) Day and 13th annual Engineering Expo April 10-11 on the Macon campus:


(winners reflect the top 10 percent of entries per category)

Research Poster

Manto Agouridou
“Comparison of Hearing Abilities between Visually Impaired and Sighted Adolescents with Musical Training”
Faculty Mentors: Dr. Amy Borchardt, Dr. Keegan Greenier and Dr. Ami Spears

Jessica Armstrong, Arthur King Justis Ward
“Biosurfactants: A Greener Approach to Oil Remediation”
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Kathryn Kloepper (also co-author)

Catherine Bishop
“The Effects of Stress Management on Perceived and Physiological Reactions to a Threat and Challenge”
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Amy Borchardt

Aaron Featherston
“Synthesis of Bromotyrosine Natural Products as Potential Novel Antibiotics against Gram-Negative Bacteria”
Faculty Mentor: Dr. David Goode (also co-author)

Manisha Sadanani
“The Role of the Striatal Patch Compartment in Addictive Behaviors”
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Kristen A. Horner (also co-author)

Creative Expression Presentation

William Scruggs
“Playing in Streams of Truth”
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Gordon Johnston

Engagement Presentation

Caroline Payne, Alexandra Himes, Madelyn Byron
“Mercer on Mission Peru: Discovery and Difference”
Faculty Mentors: Dr. Chris Grant and Dr. Mary Ann Drake

Min Hyun Oh
“The Good Childhood: Danish Education System and its Implications on the Field of Education”
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Sharon Augustine

Research Presentation

Hannah Carley
“Persistence of Volatility of Sovereign Credit Risk in Presence of Structural Breaks”
Faculty Mentors: Dr. Geoffrey Ngene (co-author) and Dr. Linda Brennan

Colleen Closson
“The Transformative Power of Literacy: American Slaves and Education”
Faculty Mentor: Dr. David A. Davis

Heather Foreman
“A Christian Nation: How Covenant Theology Affected the Religious Liberty Debate in Colonial America”
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Paul Lewis

Kevin Jiles
“Malondialdehyde-Induced Inhibition of Aldehyde Dehydrogenase 2 Activity in the Mechanism of METH Neurotoxicity”
Faculty Mentors: Dr. Susan Cline and Dr. Kristen A. Horner (co-authors)

Anna Johnson
“A Pen and a Paintbrush: Illustration in Jarrell's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Anya Silver

Patrick Jolley
“Nietzsche, Wagner, and Freedom”
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Charlie Thomas

Yvonne Rodriguez
“Caesar's Germans: The Use of Persuasive Language in Book VI of Commentarii de bello Gallico”
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Achim Kopp

Soowhan Yoon
“Integers and Remainders”
Faculty Mentors: Dr. Margaret Symington and Dr. Curtis Herink

Art Awards


First place
Joori Chung

Second place
Sandy Courtois


First place
Amanda Clark

Second place
Caleb Brown

Digital Media

First place
Katie Hogue

Second place
Ayodeji Ajayi


First place
Amber Coleman

Second place
Joori Chung

Mixed Media

First place
Brian Greene

Second place
Sandy Courtois

Engineering Expo

Freshman Honors Poster Presentation Award

Sarah Kashin, Rebekah Fulton, Dr. Philip T. McCreanor
“Homemade Biodiesel vs. Common Fuels: How Does the Energy Release Compare?”

Sophomore Honors Poster Presentation Award

Andrew Roy, Josh Bublitz, Dr. Philip T. McCreanor
“Head Kace – Protecting the Pitcher's Cranium”

Junior Honors Poster Presentation Award

Wahaj Khan, Dr. Kevin Barnett
“Wireless Power Transmission”

Best Senior Design Poster Presentation Award

Matthew Callier, Kyle Wright, Carl Aquino, Dr. Laura Lackey, Dr. Anthony Choi
“Autonomous kayak with water sampling capabilities”

Best Senior Design Poster Presentation Award

Erin Brett, Christie Hutchison, Jess McAnally, Dr. Laura Lackey, Dr. Anthony Choi
“Apparatus for Measuring the Diffusion Coefficient of Metallic Biocide through Sand Filter Media”

Engineering Honors Podium Presentation Award

Britney Hudson, Lauren Reagin, Daniel Yoon, Dr. Sinjae Hyun
“Inhaled aerosol deposition and particle transport comparison in realistic human upper respiratory models”

Engineering Research Podium Presentation Award

Daniel DoHyun Yoon, Dr. Sinjae Hyun
“Inter-Subject Comparison of Inhaled Aerosol Deposition in Human Respiratory Models”

Engineering Innovation and Entrepreneurship Education Podium Presentation Award

Justin Blount, Dr. Ramachandran Radharamanan
“A Novel Guitar Capo Design for Intermediate to Advanced Guitar Players”

Freshman Design Competition

Cable Car

First Place
Team 2: Ralph Corser, Mohammed Hammad, Samuel Ostrowski, Alec Udasco
(Lab: Dr. Mike Leonard; Client: Dr. Kevin Barnett)

Second Place
Team 7: Rachel Banks, Austin Hemstreet, Ian McMullen, Dylan Treend
(Lab: Dr. Wade H. Shaw; Client: Dr. Andre Butler)

Hill Climb

First Place
Team 4: Jesse Deariso, Kevin Long, Ryan Sharry, Andrew Wilzman
(Lab: Dr. Emily Childress; Client: Dr. Stephen Hill)

Second Place
Team 5: Jack Doresky, Kyle Ulversoy, Brittany White
(Lab: Dr. Jack Mahaney; Client: Dr. Dick Kunz)

Off Road

First Place
Team 4: Indi Brown, Zachary Martin, Justin Phifer, Zachary Smith
(Lab: Dr. Emily Childress; Client: Dr. Bill Moses)

Second Place
Team 7: Jeremy Booth, Zachary Danforth, Sarah Kashin, Gaspar Ramirez
(Lab: Dr. Wade H. Shaw; Client: Dr. Anthony Choi)


First Place
Team 8: Jeffrey Bradshaw, Brittany Gary, Carson McGorry, Stephen Wheeler
(Lab: Dr. Ed O'Brien; Client: Dr. Laura Lackey)

Second Place
Team 1: Duronte Carter, Jonathan DeBole, Michael Rainwater, Hannah Smith
(Lab: Dr. Mike Leonard; Client: Dr. Emily Childress)

Tug of War

First Place
Team 6: Christian Kloster, Jeff Smith, Joshua West
(Lab: Dr. Jack Mahaney; Client: Dr. Scott Schultz)

Second Place
Team 4: Allison Clemons, Robert Hartman, Brian Stepanski, Brandon Thompson
(Lab: Dr. Emily Childress; Client: Dr. Scott Schultz)

Kyle Sears
Kyle is the director of media relations at Mercer. In addition to being the primary media contact for most academic and administrative units of the university, he coordinates hometown and university news releases and serves as editor of the News@Mercer e-newsletter and Reach magazine.​