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Virtual showcase highlights undergraduate students' research — and their creativity

2020 research showcase moves online with videos by some of the award winners
April 26, 2021
A young, female, Black athlete jumping over a hurdle on a race track.
Improving the accuracy and runtime of skeletal tracking of lower limbs for athletic jump mechanics assessments is the focus of undergraduate Aloys Portafaix's research.

Though the pandemic may have shifted things online, the show must go on. And for some of this year’s undergraduate research award winners, things have gone virtual with videos showcasing the fruits of their labour.

The Concordia Undergraduate Student Research Awards (CUSRA) program provides research funding to students in the fine arts, social sciences, humanities, engineering and computer science, business disciplines, and natural and health sciences. The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) awards fund students for science and engineering projects.

Both awards are meant to give students valuable research work experience to not only complement their degrees, but to potentially encourage them to consider graduate studies, a research career or both.

Though past research showcases have been in-person, health restrictions this year have meant limited campus access and no public events. However, this challenge has provided an opportunity for some of the 2020 winners to showcase not only their research but also their creativity through videos explaining their work.

“Students throughout Concordia have demonstrated their resilience over the past year, and this online showcase has given award winners a unique opportunity to present their work to a wider audience that may not have been able to attend an in-person showcase normally,” says Paula Wood-Adams, Interim Vice-President of Research and Graduate Studies at Concordia.

“Their work is truly impressive, and I look forward to seeing how their research careers progress,” she adds.

In collaboration with 4th SPACE, which facilitates engagement with Concordia’s research activities and has also moved online this year by offering a virtual space to highlight the university’s research work, 13 of the 2020 NSERC and CUSRA programs award winners produced videos, which are available on 4th SPACE’s YouTube page.

The videos, which are as varied as their subject matter, showcase the students’ research on topics ranging from transportation planning and childhood development, to ice adhesion, sleep and more.

The list of prize-winners, with links to their videos

Amanda Marlandis, CUSRA Winner

Program: Bachelor of Arts, Honours Psychology
Supervisors: Erin Barker
Title: The Long Reach of Late Childhood and Early Adolescent Parental Warmth to Socioemotional Adjustment in Emerging Adulthood
Acknowledgements: Erin Barker, The Lifespan Well-Being Laboratory, CRDH, FRQS, and Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

Watch Amanda’s presentation.

Gabrielle Parent-Trudeau, CUSRA Winner

Program: BA Honours Psychology
Supervisor: Shimon Amir
Title: Modulation of Alcohol-Seeking Behaviors and Sex-Based differences by the Circadian Clock
Acknowledgements: Shimon Amir and the Amir Laboratory, Concordia University

Watch Gabrielle’s presentation.

Victoria Gilmore, CUSRA Winner

Program: Child Studies
Supervisor: Nina Howe
Title of Project: “Toot, Toot, Tooty, Toot”: An Investigation of Humour in Sibling Dyads in Early Childhood
Acknowledgements: Nina Howe, Amy Paine, and Ganie DeHart (GENESEO data set)

Watch Victoria’s presentation.

Ling Yun, Feng, NSERC-USRA Winner

Program: Psychology
Supervisor: Karen Li and under the mentorship of Averil Parker
Project Title: How Does the Complexity of a Listening Task Influence the Stride Time Variability?
Acknowledgements: Our participants, Karen Li, NSERC, FRQNT and OVPRGS.

Watch Ling Yun’s presentation.

Emma Hsiaowen Chen, CUSRA Winner

Program: Major in Exercise Science & Major in Psychology
Supervisors: Andreas Bergdahl and Mary Roberts, Department of Health, Kinesiology and Applied Physiology
Title: Postural stability in older adults following an integrative dance class
Acknowledgements: Our participants, my supervisors Andreas Bergdahl & Mary Roberts & CUSRA

Watch Emma’s presentation.

Pariya Yousefi, CUSRA Winner

Program: Chemistry and Biochemistry
Supervisor: Marek Majewski
Title: New Double Perovskites for Solar Energy Conversion
Acknowledgments: Majewski Research Group, Howarth Research Group, Francisco Yarur, Joey Ricardo, William Leal, Caroline Bergeron

Watch Pariya’s presentation.

Ramela Arax Koumrouyan, NSERC USRA Winner

Program: Honours Bachelor in Biology
Supervisor: Dylan Fraser Project
Title: Community oriented management of brook trout and walleye populations in lakes Mistassini, Albanel and Waconichi
Acknowledgements: Dylan Fraser, Kia Marin, Giulio Navarroli, The Cree community, etc.

Watch Ramela’s presentation.

Aloys Portafaix, NSERC USRA Winner

Program: Computer Science
Supervisor: Thomas Fevens
Title: Improving Accuracy And Runtime Of Skeletal Tracking Of Lower Limbs For Athletic Jump Mechanics Assessment
Acknowledgements: NSERC, FRQNT, Concordia, and Fevens.

Watch Aloys’ presentation.

Sarjeph Ahamed, CUSRA Winner

Program: Mechanical Engineering
Supervisor: Ali Dolatabadi
Project Name: Numerical Study on Ice Adhesion Strength in Mode 1
Acknowledgements: Ali Dolatabadi and Adham Amer

Watch Sarjeph’s presentation.

Gabriel Aguiar Tawil, CUSRA Winner

Program: Biochemistry
Supervisor: David Kwan
Title: Gabriel Aguiar-Tawil CUSRA Project 2020
Acknowledgements: David Kwan and the members of the Kwan Lab

Watch Gabriel’s presentation.

Aaron Bensmihen, CUSRA Winner

Program: Honours Urban Planning
Supervisor: Zachary Patterson
Title: The Multimodal Accessibility Target (MAT) in Transportation Planning

Watch Aaron’s presentation.

Arina Ujevco, NSERC USRA Winner

Program: Honours Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
Supervisor's name: Emily B. J. Coffey
Co-Supervisor's name: Hugo Jourde
Title: The Effect of Sound on Sleep Spindles
Acknowledgments: My supervisor Emily B. J. Coffey and co-supervisor Hugo Jourde for all the help and guidance provided; Granting Agency FRQS; and all of the members of CL:ASP for the feedback

Watch Arina’s presentation.

Jillian Caplan, CUSRA Award Winner

Program: Honours Psychology (Behavioural Neuroscience), Minor in Multidisciplinary Studies in Science
Supervisor: Linda Booij
Title: Design of the Food Frequency Questionnaire Nutrient Coding Book
Acknowledgements: We would like to acknowledge our colleagues from McGill University, who created the FFQ. We are thankful to our colleagues at the Department of Nutrition at the University of Montreal, and at the Douglas Institute’s Eating Disorder Continuum.

Watch Jillian’s presentation.


Learn more about the 2021 programs and competitions.

Find out more about Virtual 4th SPACE.


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