Winners of Missouri Southern State University’s 2021 Student Research Symposium have been announced. 

Nearly 40 entries were submitted in one of six categories: Humanities; Business, Engineering and Technology; Social Sciences; Physical and Biological Sciences; Health Sciences; and Education. 

A panel of judges selected first- and second-place winners in each category. A prize was also awarded for the best overall poster. 

Due to COVID concerns, this year’s event was conducted online. Posters for the virtual symposium were created as a single PowerPoint slide accompanied by a 5-minute voiceover recording, allowing students to present their research to a virtual audience. 

“The event allows our students to gain firsthand experience in an academic discipline while developing and enhancing their analytical, critical-thinking and communication skills,” said Dr. Michael Howarth, research symposium coordinator. “These experiences have proven beneficial for students when beginning a career or graduate studies. 

The public can view the entries online at They will remain on the page for the remainder of the spring semester, said Howarth, before they are archived on the Student Research Symposium webpage. 

Winners in each of the categories are: 

Business, Engineering and Technology 

First Place: Ojurere Shonekan, Columbia, Mo.; “The Effect of Design Aesthetics on User Acceptance and Perceived Usability of a Novel Meal Mobile App” 

 Second Place: Adam Landburg, Webb City, Mo.; “Dry Your Chicken: Obtaining Target Water Activity on Chicken Jerky While Reducing Variation” 


Health Sciences                                     

First Place: Kobe Kisling, Sarcoxie, Mo., and Myka Masters, Pierce City, Mo., and Jiyoung Yun, Joplin; “Morphometric Analysis of the Superior Ophthalmic Vein: A Cadaveric Study” 

Second Place: Emma Bailey, Joplin; “Attitudes of Women About Presence of a Male Nursing Student During Birthing Process” 



First Place: Ashly Flores, Wheaton, Mo.; “The Reconstruction Era: An Eternal Deficiency for African Americans Post Emancipation” 

Second Place: Emma Schoolcraft, Lamar, Mo.; “Existential Motherhood: Simone de Beauvoir’s Restaging of the Maternal Drama” 



First Place: Alyssa Diaz, Joplin; “Sociodemographic Variables and Characteristics of the Coronavirus Pandemic Contributing to Food Insecurity Among College Students” 

Second Place: Amanda Ethredge, Joplin, and Katelynn Stewart, Springfield, Mo.; “Music and the Brain” 


Social Sciences 

First Place: Madison Casey, Joplin; “CSI Effect: Does it Deter?” 

Second Place: David Bird, Joplin; “Smelser’s Value-Added Theory: 2020 Toilet Paper Crisis” 


Physical and Biological Sciences 

First Place: Kylie Atkinson, Diamond, Mo.; “Measuring the Muscles of Cottonmouth Pit Vipers as They Grow” 

Second Place: [TIE] Jillian Hackney, Carl Junction, Mo.; “Seeing Red: Quantifying the Diversity of Constriction Pressures Generated by Snakes” 


Thomas Zapletal, Carthage, Mo.; “Testing for Sexual Dimorphism in Turtles and Snakes”                                           


Best Overall Poster 

Kylie Atkinson