ON POINT — Undergraduate student Julia Lietz presents her study on Marquette transportation to an audience member.
ON POINT — Undergraduate student Julia Lietz presents her study on Marquette transportation to an audience member.
Katarina Rothhorn

Students’ work appreciated at Celebration of Student Scholarship

Displayed in Jamrich Hall, students showcase their research and present it to an audience.

Stands were set up all around Jamrich Hall last Thursday in long rows. Large posters with complex formulas, long paragraphs and graphs were placed on them. The room was filled with the discoveries and studies of NMU students.

The 28th Annual Celebration of Student Scholarship was held on April 18. There, the public was free to roam and view the research posters of students. Some presented their projects orally, and others let their audience interpret their work individually.

“Presenting at the COSS is so much fun. I really enjoy getting to talk to people about my research and it makes me feel even more proud of the work I’m doing,” biology graduate student Bailey Gomes said. “I also like it because I get asked questions that I hadn’t thought of before and sometimes people will give some good suggestions for things that I should look into further.”

Gomes presented data from their master’s thesis project. Their study was on “The variant composition of SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19) in Marquette’s wastewater,” and the data is being used to build a timeline of dominant variants over a four-year time span. With it, they will examine the differences of the variants’ spread in different communities.

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A PROUD PRESENTATION — Gomes takes the time to explain their project in detail to their audience. The event was open to the public, meaning anyone could stop in and listen to them speak. (Photo courtesy of Bailey Gomes)
“I’m proud of the fact that I’ve been with this project since it began in 2020 when we were originally studying wastewater monitoring as a method for detecting SARS-CoV-2,” Gomes said. “My thesis is a culmination of almost four years of work and I’m really proud to have seen this project grow and develop over the years.”
Many students also found it encouraging to see other students’ projects in comparison to theirs. They could see the different strategies and methods students used to formulate their studies and learn more about specific topics.
“I think that an event like this allows for students to showcase their results of their hard work in a professional setting that might not be available without this event,” senior Julia Lietz said. “This event also prepares students for presenting work and can be a great tool for future opportunities.”
Lietz presented her senior capstone project: “Breaking Down Barriers: A Case Study on Rural Public Transportation in Marquette County, Michigan.”  As an environmental science and sustainability major, she focused on the state of Marquette’s transportation system. Divided into two sections, the study covered its current state as well as public opinion.
“It was super exciting to be able to present at this event. I’ve been working on this project for the entirety of the semester, so it was gratifying to be able to discuss all of the work I have accomplished,” Lietz said. “I was also able to network and share my findings with other interested parties which made me feel like my work might make a difference.”
For Lietz, the event was also a way to end her college career on a solid note.
“I felt proud to be able to showcase my work after so many months of data collection,” Lietz said. “This experience personally served me as a great send-off before I graduate. I feel even more prepared for the next level of my education and am more confident in my abilities as a researcher and presenter.”

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