Three Graduate Students Receive Global Impact Awards at Grad Show


Left to right: Alan Rudolph, Maram Altilmisani, Ben Wheatley, Laura Martin, Jodie Hanzlik, and Karen Gardenier.

On November 11, students from Colorado State University’s 90 graduate programs participated in CSU’s second Graduate Student Showcase. The one-day conference at the Lory Student Center provided students with the opportunity to showcase their research and creativity, connect with other graduate students and faculty, learn about other disciplines, and gain confidence. During the morning, students presented scholarly posters, performances, and visual arts presentations to judges and spectators in the LSC Ballroom.

“As a showcase, this event demonstrates the myriad of CSU’s graduate students’ undertakings,” Jodie Hanzlik, dean of the Graduate School, said. “Exposing presenters to feedback from and discussion with fellow students and faculty, we hope that innovative ideas are generated and new research networks are formed.”

The event continued in the afternoon with professional development workshops, and concluded with an awards reception. More than $10,000 in awards were given in recognition of research excellence.

“While we are awarding graduate students for their scholarship and their excellence in presentation during the event, essentially, we are investing in them as future leaders in global research,” said CSU Vice President for Research Alan Rudolph.

The Office of International Programs sponsored three Global Impact Awards – two for research and one for artistry and creativity. Each award recipient received a $350 cash prize.

Global Impact Awards

Global Research

GradShowResearchWinnerThe Global Research Award honors a graduate student, or student team, that demonstrates an active commitment to making a global impact through research. Examples might include field research that was conducted at an international location, research that was accomplished by partnering with an international organization or institution, or research that has the capacity to address a significant global challenge.

European badger capture success for vaccination against tuberculosis in Ireland
Laura Martin

European badgers are a reservoir for Mycobacterium bovis, which causes bovine tuberculosis (TB). To control bovine TB in badgers, a vaccine is being evaluated as an alternative to culling.  Trapping success is crucial to vaccinate the population, but varies considerably.  We are investigating the effect of weather on trapping success by analyzing precipitation and temperature data from badger captures in the Republic of Ireland.  Badger captures were significantly higher in drizzle, rain, and heavy rain.  Our preliminary results could help wildlife managers to prioritize trapping based on weather, which facilitates both badger conservation and bovine TB control.

Improving Prostheses in India through Engineering Education
Ben Wheatley
Mechanical Engineering

The Jaipur foot is a cheap and simple prosthesis or artificial limb commonly used in India to replace the lower limb below the knee. While this product is simple and effective, it has a number of drawbacks such as patient comfort, long term use, and consistency. These can be addressed with engineering methods commonly taught in undergraduate studies. Thus, the combination of real world applicability, engineering design and analysis, and socioeconomic impact make this an ideal project for undergraduate students with graduate student mentorship.

GradShowArtistryWinnerGlobal Artistry and Creativity

The Global Artistry and Creativity Award honors a graduate student, or student team, that demonstrates an active commitment to making a global impact through an artistic or creative endeavor. Examples might include recognizing a specific culture or art form worldwide through the visual arts, performing arts, or another creative medium.

Digitally Printed Portable Prayer Rugs
Maram Altilmisani
Design & Merchandising

In Islamic culture, it is imperative that prayer is an integral part of each Muslim’s day. To do so, they must utilize a prayer rug as a means of separating themselves from the dirt of the floor while praying towards Mecca. By producing these digitally printed portable prayer rugs, they represent a lessened environmental impact to popular knotted prayer rugs. Conducting future research to explore of how female Muslim consumers might respond to purchasing digitally printed portable prayer rugs, as a strategy to help other low-income Muslim women, could make a contribution to academic literature.