The first Plattsburgh State Student Exhibition was filled with students passionately presenting their projects to judges and fellow students Friday, Nov. 18, in the Alumni Conference Room. The event was co-sponsored by the Academic Board of the Student Association, Student Affairs, the Plattsburgh Alumni Association, C.E.O. Club and the Career Development Center.
From colorful, elegant dresses to incredibly detailed poster-boards covered in student’s scientific findings, the amount of effort put into these projects shined through, especially when they described their creations to others.
The conference room was crowded with chatter and an array of projects that students had spent months working hard in creating something that wasn’t just a normal homework assignment.
The students participating had their projects looked over by judges and other students to see who was the best in the four sections- Social Cause, Business Model, Art and Design, and Scientific Research. There were two awards given out for People’s Choice, and the ones who won each category would win a $300 dollar scholarship.
Participants were judged in four respective categories: Science Research (Seanmichael Nandkumar), Social Cause (Ekele Lucy Adjaero), Business (Ameet Kumar), Art and Design (Osayame Uzamere) and People’s Choice (Oghale Obara-Best, Abhey Sharma and Vasu Govani).
Student Association President-Elect and junior Vrinda Kumar organized the event and was very happy with the turnout.
“It’s appreciating students for what they do outside of the classroom,” said Kumar.
She said when a student has an assignment, they put in a lot of effort in and then forget about it, already moving onto the next thing.
Kumar said this is different because it’s something that these students are passionate about and they’re able to show it.
Freshman biology major Shivangi Nakrani, manned a booth that had printed-out photos of her intricately detailed henna tattoos. On her laptop, she had even more designs to show, each having a story hidden within the designs and enriched with culture.
Nakrani said putting henna on your own hand is very difficult, and that the more you stay still, the better the henna will come out.
“For henna, it’s everything. People used to only do it at weddings and baby showers, but there are so many different designs,” said Nakrani. She also said in India, she would draw henna on brides.
Nakrani said she would enjoy teaching henna, and said this event “gives everyone the chance to show their skills.”
While there were many artists displaying their creations at this event, there were also plenty of students explaining their scientific, business and social findings in vivid detail through their own experiments.
Obaro-Best, winner of the ‘People’s Choice’, worked for three years on her project, titled “Bismuth Trichloride Medicated Deprotection of Methoxymethlethers.” This project, Obaro-Best said, began during her sophomore year when she approached her advisor, Rajesh Sunasee, about an antibiotic drug called Culpin.
“He was working on synthesizing the drug and he found a misstep where a protective agent kept falling off unexpectedly. I wanted to find a way to optimize the condition so that we could control the falling and speed up the process to synthesize the drug,” said Obaro-Best.
Her favorite part about the project was finding the results and discovering the optimal process for the drug to be able to synthesize it, and get a paper published on the findings, which she had on display.
“In the future, we want to continue working on more synthesis and basically finding more molecules that we can deprotect, maybe apply these techniques to other agents and see if that works,” said Obaro-Best.
Kumar said the event is a great networking opportunity for students because they’re able to display their work for other faculty members.
“I feel very much from the heart that students are able to put their entire heart and soul (into these projects),” Event Judge and Director of Alumni Relations Joanne Nelson said. “It’s a beautiful opportunity, regardless of prizes, to show something that you’re so proud of.”
Nelson also said the key for any student showing their project is to make it understandable for anyone listening to their topic.
“I’m blown away by the level of innovation and enthusiasm,” she said.
The winners were announced towards the end of the event, and everyone who participated received a certificate, which was met with applause for every name called.
Kumar then thanked everyone for participating, the organizers for the event, and the judges for their time.
“Good work is it’s own reward, and being able to show this work, something that you’re so proud of, is a beautiful opportunity,” Nelson said.
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