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SUNY Potsdam Announces Winners of 2021 Learning & Research Fair Awards

June 1, 2021

SUNY Potsdam recognized students and faculty mentors for excellence in research and creative projects, following the College’s 2021 Learning and Research Fair. The fair was held in a virtual format this year to accommodate students and faculty studying and working remotely, and featured more than 40 student projects. Top research projects were recognized with awards, which included $2,600 worth of prizes, as follows: 

Frederick B. Kilmer Research Awards 

  • Gemma Small, first place in the humanities category, for “A Look at ‘The Blue Lotus’ through Language, Imagery and Historical Setting” (Faculty mentors: Dr. Shiho Imai, Department of History, and Dr. Lora Lunt, Department of Modern Languages) 

  • Lauren Wright, first place in the social sciences category, for “Analysis of Dental Traits from Revolutionary War Dentrition” (Faculty mentor: Dr. Jaimin Weets, Department of Anthropology) 

  • Ruth Reichard, first place in the sciences category, for “Rapid and Sensitive Colorimetric Method for Detection of Several Toxic Heavy Metals” (Faculty mentor, Dr. Fadi Bou-Abdallah, Department of Chemistry) 

Ram L. Chugh North Country Research and Public Service Awards 

  • Awehiawaks K. Herne, first place, for “ICINA: Indigenous Cultural Identity Narrative Assessment” (Faculty mentor, Dr. Claire Starrs, Department of Psychology) 

  • Rachel Grohbrugge, second place, for “Bear Carebook: Development of a Student Mental Health and Wellbeing Assessment” (Faculty mentor, Dr. Claire Starrs, Department of Psychology) 

Provost’s Award for Excellence in Student Research 

  • Brianna Gerhardt, for “Can Music Change Mood? An Experimental Affect Priming Study” (Faculty mentor, Dr. Claire Starrs, Department of Psychology) 

  • Aliaksandra Reutovich, for “The Effect of Physiological Phosphate Concentrations on Iron Mineralization and Mobilization of Ferritin” (Faculty mentor: Dr. Fadi Bou-Abdallah, Department of Chemistry) 

Outstanding Faculty Mentorship of Undergraduate Research 

  • Assistant Professor of Psychology Dr. Claire Starrs 

The Learning and Research Fair is coordinated by the Office for Student Research and Creativity, which offers support for student-faculty collaborations or mentorships that contribute to the understanding of a discipline through the examination, study, creation and communication of new knowledge, by means of an original scholarly or creative project. 

The Office for Student Research and Creativity also oversees the Presidential Scholars Program, the Kilmer Fund, the Institute for Ethical Behavior and the Honors Program. It is part of the Donald and Kathryn Lougheed Center for Applied Learning, located in the Lougheed Learning Commons. To find out more, visit  

About SUNY Potsdam:  

Founded in 1816, The State University of New York at Potsdam is one of America’s first 50 colleges—and the oldest institution within SUNY. Now in its third century, SUNY Potsdam is distinguished by a legacy of pioneering programs and educational excellence. The College currently enrolls approximately 3,600 undergraduate and graduate students. Home to the world-renowned Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam is known for its challenging liberal arts and sciences core, distinction in teacher training and culture of creativity. To learn more, visit

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