Penn State Wilkes-Barre honors student researchers in Celebration of Scholarship

Students outdoors sitting on the Nittany Lion bench and behind the bench, holding their awards.

Celebration of Scholarship winners were, first row, from left: Samantha Ochoa and Tinatin Guruli. Second row: Rodney Huang, Mark Oldziejewski, Lizzeth Lezama-Luna, Cassie Dierolf and Anna Ferraris. Absent from photo: Alessandra Ayoub and Caleb Cornell.

Credit: Penn State

DALLAS, Pa. — Penn State Wilkes-Barre recently held its annual student research fair, "Celebration of Scholarship," showcasing the outstanding research and scholarly work of campus students and faculty. This year's event featured 41 posters and 71 student participants, with 23 faculty and staff judges evaluating the submissions.

“Celebration of Scholarship is an event that brings the whole campus together to showcase multidisciplinary student research,” said Molly Abdalla, student engagement and outreach librarian. “It's an important tradition that requires students to give a professional verbal presentation to describe and defend their scholarly research in a fun environment. Students can hone in on a specific passion and bring this vision to fruition. It's a fun way for them to conduct their own research and showcase it for the first time.”

In the Campus Research Award category, Samantha Ochoa's project, “Sentiment Analysis of Major Network Online Headlines,” took the top spot and a $70 prize. Alessandra Ayoub and Tinatin Guruli's project, “Step 2 Freedom: Treating Child Victims of Sex Trafficking,” was named runner-up, earning them $20 each.

In the Information Literacy Awards category, three projects tied for first place, each receiving $100. Alessandra Ayoub and Tinatin Guruli's “Step 2 Freedom: Treating Child Victims of Sex Trafficking” was recognized alongside Lizzeth Lezama-Luna's “Globalization and the Influence of English on Korean Popular Music” and Anna Ferraris and Cassie Dierolf's “Unmasking Wakefield: Dissecting the Autism-Vaccine Connection.”

The Sustainability Award went to Rodney Huang, Caleb Cornell, and Mark Oldziejewski for their project “Breaking Barriers: The Peanut Butter Falcon,” earning them $30 each.

To see this year’s winning posters, visit the Celebration of Scholarship website.