Graduate researchers honored with global impact awards at annual grad show

Global Impact Award recipients Andy Gilmore (left) and Blessing Magonziwa (center), and CSU Vice Provost for International Affairs Kathleen Fairfax

Global Impact Award recipients Andy Gilmore (left) and Blessing Magonziwa (center), and CSU Vice Provost for International Affairs Kathleen Fairfax

On November 13, the Colorado State University hosted its annual Graduate Student Showcase at the Lory Student Center. In its fourth year, the Grad Show offers students from all eight of CSU’s colleges a forum for sharing their research and creativity. Throughout the day-long event, graduate students showcased their projects, networked with other graduate students and faculty, and participated in professional development workshops. Judges awarded $17,200 in cash prizes to winners in 17 different categories, including three $350 awards from the Office of International Programs.


The Global Impact Award honors graduate students who demonstrate 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.

Vehicles of Democracy: Vernacular Monumentality and the Umbrella Revolution
Andy Gilmore
Communication Studies

Hong Kong’s 2014 Umbrella Revolution saw some of the city’s busiest streets transform into temporary sites of artistic expression and freedom. As everyday items were turned into in-situ tools of protest against the Chinese government, this essay explores Hong Kongers utilization of one of these everyday items: double-decker buses. Using Jean Paul Ricoeur’s (1990) strategy for appropriating historicity or the “historical condition,” I argue that Hong Kongers transformed mobility from the mundane to the political through the display of Hong Kong’s past (colonization), present (mainlandization), and future (democracy) through the intersectionality of UK, Chinese, and Hong Kong culture.

Andy Gilmore sharing his work with a judge at the Graduate Student Showcase on November 13 at the Lory Student Center

A “Soil Tool kit” for In-field Soil Analysis
Blessing Magonziwa
Soil and Crop Sciences

Smallholder farmers and NGOs in agricultural development have limited access to analytical laboratories due to high costs and remote locations. We developed a tool kit that that uses minimum reagents to provide useful, quantitative results in field to inform decisions. The tool kit measures important soil health indicators affecting crop yields.  These measures were validated against standard laboratory with 72 soil samples taken from 36 farms across Nandi, Kenya. Statistical analysis showed that the tool kit and lab methods are highly and positively correlated and that the tool kit can explain variability in grain yield as well as lab methods.

Metabolomics of Dried Blood Spots from Malian Infants
Hillary Smith
Colorado School of Public Health

Rice bran (RB), a byproduct of rice processing has functional food properties necessary for infant growth. This study investigated the effects of RB supplementation on the metabolite profiles of weaning infants in Mali, West Africa. Dried blood spots have advantages as shown by assessments for malnutrition and HIV status and were collected for studying metabolic response to RB feeding. Six month old, healthy infants were randomized to a control or RB supplementation group with increasing doses each month. RB fed infants showed changes in multiple metabolites of potential importance to growth outcomes through 12 months of age.