Students Present at Inaugural Research Symposium

Students Present at Inaugural Research Symposium

Fifteen Texas A&M University–Central Texas students from various disciplines will present their research during a “Student Research Symposium” in Bernie Beck Lecture Hall Friday, Dec. 8 from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. All are encouraged to attend or join virtually via Teams.

Attendees can look forward to five-minute presentations from each students’ respective research.

Organismal biology senior Sara Richter began conceptualizing her research a little over a year ago when it was time to decide on her capstone project. Her research A Predator’s Choice investigates whether lady beetles can be used as a biological control agent instead of pesticide.

Ultimately Richter would like to publish her research but she’s most looking forward to having discussions about her methods.

“I'm not afraid to talk in front of people. I do get nervous like everybody else does, but I want that experience (of presenting) and I want to get feedback on how I can improve my experiment,” she said.

Richter is also motivated by the intersections of research and how having these types of discussions with her peers, whether in the same discipline or not, allows her to talk through ideas for furthering her research.

Similarly, psychology junior Amanda Mchugh values presenting and connecting with others through her research. Meeting with other A&M–Central Texas student researchers has increased her sense of belonging on campus.

“(The networking involved in research) helps me meet more people and see their experiences and know more people to ask questions of,” Mchugh said. She credits the University size for the flexibility to explore her research interests and the distinct leadership from faculty advisors. Her hope is that students attending the symposium will be encouraged by her experience.

“My main goal (in presenting) is to get more people interested in research, and I hope that there will be people in the audience who haven't done research before, but who would if they knew more about it,” Mchugh said.

Mchugh has also submitted her research Explaining “Why You Care” Helps Them Share: Overcoming Reluctance to Share Feedback to present at the March 2024 Southwestern Psychological Association Convention in San Antonio.

Associate Professor of Counseling and Psychology Dr. Madelynn Shell further noted the event gives students a chance to see what their peers are accomplishing and learn more about research opportunities at A&M–Central Texas.

The event is hosted by the Division of Research, Economic Development, and Innovation, the Psychology Club, and the Science Club. Attendees can also look forward to a reception with light refreshments and door prizes for in-person attendees.


  • Brandy Dunfee
  • Maria Figueroa
  • Breanna Jourdan
  • Hector Ligsay Jr, JaeYun Jo, & Omar Owens
  • Amanda Mchugh
  • Danielle McKay
  • Queen Miller
  • Fiorella Noriega
  • Sara Richter
  • Joseph Riopelle
  • Michelle Sandy
  • Shaina Spence
  • Zander Sullivan

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