The Undergraduate Exhibition


Due to the recent changes related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Undergraduate Exhibition will now be held in a virtual format. Presentations will be posted digitally with public access available from April 15 through April 17. The deadline for submitting applications and abstracts has been extended to Sunday, March 29. Applications are posted online for the Undergraduate Exhibition for Research, Inquiry, and Creative Activity and the Engagement Experience Poster Exhibition.

Please see the specific guidelines for formatting and submission of projects HERE.
The Engagement Experience Presentation Formatting Guide is HERE.

Due to concerns over intellectual property rights, presentations will be available for viewing only during the window of time between April 15 at 4 pm and April 17 at 4 pm. After that time, presentations will be inaccessible.

April 15 - 17, 2020

All Penn State undergraduate students, regardless of campus location, are eligible to enter the Undergraduate Exhibition. The 2020 exhibition will feature different presentation types within two different time slots:

  1. Engagement Experience Poster Exhibition (Online from April 15 through April 17)
    1. Posters highlighting student achievements in engaged learning experiences (NOT a research poster)
  2. Undergraduate Exhibition for Research, Inquiry, or Creative Activity (Online from April 15 through April 17)
    1. Traditional research posters
    2. Oral research presentation – 5 minute presentation for disciplines or projects for whom traditional research posters are not traditionally used
    3. Performance – 5 minute performance (music, writing, poetry reading, dance, theatre, etc.)

Application period – January 20 - March 29, 2020

Questions about the Undergraduate Exhibition may be directed to Alan Rieck, Assistant Vice President and Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Education, at 814-863-1864 or

Gerard A. Hauser Award

The Gerald A. Hauser Award is given to the exhibition entry judged to be the best overall. Named in honor of a former director of Penn State's honors program, it is accompanied by a $500 prize.

Category Awards

First, second, and third place is awarded in each of the Exhibition’s entry categories, including arts and humanities, course-based projects, engineering, health and life sciences, physical sciences, social and behavioral sciences, and oral presentations and performances.

University Fellowships and Phi Kappa Phi Peter T. Luckie Award for Outstanding Juniors

The University Fellowships and Phi Kappa Phi Peter T. Luckie Award for Outstanding Juniors is sponsored by the University Fellowships Office and the Penn State Chapter of Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Society. The award recognizes an outstanding junior entry in each of the three following areas: health and life sciences, humanities and social sciences, and physical sciences and engineering. Each award is accompanied by a $200 prize.

Phi Kappa Phi was founded in 1900 and initiates junior and senior students from all disciplines who have demonstrated academic excellence. The society lives up to its motto, "Let the love of learning rule humanity," by sponsoring fellowships and academic services and providing support to encourage the pursuit of learning in all disciplines and at all levels. Information about the Penn State chapter may be found at

University Libraries' John Sr. and Kimlyn Patishnock Undergraduate Research Award: Excellence in Information Literacy

The University Libraries' John Sr. and Kimlyn Patishnock Undergraduate Research Award recognizes scholarly work based on a foundation of careful background research and literature review. The award is given to entries that demonstrate excellence in information literacy through the following: showcasing your research process and strategies; selection of sources that contribute to your argument and ideas; social, ethical, or economic considerations in accessing information; and credit and proper citation for any quotes, tables, graphs, images, and other content displayed. 

For more information on this award and the judging rubric, please visit the Libraries' website or contact Student Engagement Coordinator for the Libraries, Hailley Fargo (

Gerard A. Hauser Award

Kaylee Kishbaugh, College of Agricultural Sciences — Evaluating the Safety of Duck Prosciutto

Arts and Humanities

First Place

Sarah McKenna, College of the Liberal Arts — Analyzing "Detrimental Psychological Harm": Social Science Evidence and Segregation in the Supreme Court Post-1950


First Place

Cody Kubicki, College of Engineering — Fluid Dynamics Study of an Implantable Fontan Circulation Assist Device

Second Place

Cara Pearson, College of Engineering — Determining the Efficiency of Emboli Detection with Doppler Ultrasonography

Third Place 

Tice Ryan Harkins (tie), Eberly College of Science — Development of a Micro-Particle Image Velocimetry Platform to Study Thrombosis In Vitro

Avery Wang (tie), Eberly College of Science — Improving Breast MRI Quality Utilizing Ultra-High Dielectric Constant Materials at 3 Tesla

Health and Life Science

First Place 

Szu-Yu Kuan (tie), Eberly College of Science — Investigating the VNTR in the human Dopamine Transporter Gene (DAT1)

Emily Snell (tie), Eberly College of Science — Activity of Tetrazole-based trans-Translation Inhibitors in Bacillus anthracis

Kelly Vanden (tie) — Methacholine as an agent for inducing labored breathing in an adolescent mouse model

Physical Sciences

First Place

Shirin Gul Zaidi, Eberly College of Science — Modeling the Dynamical Evolution of Saturn's E ring Following a Cryovolcanic Eruption on Enceladus

Second Place

Garrett Evans, College of Agricultural Sciences — Evaluating adaptation to climate in Acer rubrum populations to understand responses to climate change

Third Place

Hunter Kauffman, College of Agricultural Sciences — Effects of Anthropogenic Noise on Nesting Time and Fledging Success of Songbirds

Social and Behavioral Sciences

First Place

Aiden James Peat, Eberly College of Science — Adolescent social stress and genetic background alter morphine sensitization in C57BL/6J and BALB/cJ mice

Second Place

Karina Grullon Perez, Eberly College of Science — The Pros and Cons of Perceived HIV-Related Stigma in Younger and Older Adolescents in Botswana

Third Place

Caitlin Surgeon (tie), Eberly College of Science — Examining the acceptability of using sipIT digital tools to increase fluid consumption in kidney stone patients

Cantia Thomas (tie), College of the Liberal Arts — The Relation Between Perceived and Population Based Environmental Risk and Maternal Stress

Oral Presentation and Performance

First Place

Gage Patrick James Kroljic, College of Arts and Architecture — Sounds of the Middle East

Second Place

Dixin Xie, College of Health and Human Development — Psychosocial risk factors of food insecurity in Puerto Rican Adults from baseline to 5-year follow up

University Fellowships and Phi Kappa Phi Peter T. Luckie Awards for Outstanding Juniors

Science and Engineering

Ryan Santilli, Yashitaka Shibata, and John Williamson III, Eberly College of Science — Developing Optimized Protein Molecular Weight Markers Applicable to SDS-PAGE and Western Blot Assays

Social and Behavioral Sciences

Emily Blaker, Fayette, The Eberly Campus — The Effects of School Stress on Student-Athlete GPA and Sport Enjoyment

University Libraries’ Undergraduate Research Award: Excellence in Information Literacy

John Sr. and Kimlyn Patishnock Grand Prize

Cuyler Luck, Eberly College of Science — Identifying Drug-Drug Interactions Between Experimental Antimalarials

First Place 

Brady Houtz, College of Engineering — Effects of elevated beat rate on the hemodynamics of the Penn State pediatric ventricular assist device

Second Place

Stefan Horgas, College of Information Sciences and Technology — Virtual Teams Review: An Exploration of the Multifaceted Nature of Team Virtuality

Third Place

Marisa Vanness, College of the Liberal Arts — Women's Protest and Health in the International Sphere

Honorable Mentions

Peyton Loomis and Kristin Newvine, Altoona — Princesses and Princessing: The Sociology of Making Magic

Hannah Griffin, College of the Liberal Arts — Influences of Italian Colonial Media on Perceptions of Immigrants Today

Kushagra Kumar, Eberly College of Science — Testing Potential Inhibitors of the Sigma E Pathway in Escherichia Coli

Philip Zachariah, Eberly College of Science —  A Fly on the Wall: Bridging the Gap Between Penn State Research Laboratories and the Student Community