Presidential Showcase finalists aim big

The Concordia Courier


By Jake Cheikha | 4/21/2023

The 2023 President's Academic Showcase presentations have concluded; the top five finalists have presented their research and will be recognised and celebrated for their educational achievements. 

Freshmen and sophomores competed in Tier II. First place went to  Greta Jones, second to Kyra Enoru and third place to Reagan Wagner.

Upperclassmen competed in Tier I, and Nathan Estrick was awarded first place. 

Each of the finalists should be proud of their impressive performances and the hard work they put into preparing for the competition. Their dedication and commitment to research and presentation skills are a testament to their passion for learning and pursuit of academic excellence.

The Tier I finalists included:

Senior Rebekah Caesar's work titled “The Jacobite Uprising of 1745: Counterinsurgency, Intelligence and Espionage.” She found the research “intense yet fulfilling” as she traveled to and researched the archives in Scotland for a little under a week. 

Her paper highlights the utilization of intelligence throughout history. It explores the interdependence between intelligence and counterinsurgency, and investigates the British government's utilization of intelligence to defeat the Jacobites during the Uprising, thereby classifying it as a counterinsurgency. When asked why such a specific event interested her she responded that she had heard about it in the fall and was intrigued to dig deeper to uncover more details. 

Seniors Oliver Di Martino and Hannah Kim’s work was titled “Lifestyle & Parkinson’s Disease Longitudinal Study (LPLS),” where they dove into Parkinson’s disease which is the second most common neurodegenerative disease in the world. With no cure for the disease, they looked into non-clinical and lifestyle-based therapies to improve the quality of life. Interestingly, Rock Steady Boxing, an exercise program designed to engage with patients with symptoms of Parkinson’s, was one of these therapies. 

Senior Nathan Estrick’s research, titled “The Whole Flocke of Christ: Oliver Cromwell and the Churches under the Protectorate” highlights Oliver Cromwell. Cromwell's rule over England as its “Lord Protector” was authoritarian while his policy on religion was nuanced. While he suppressed religious expression that he deemed dangerous, Cromwell supported liberty of conscience, allowing various Protestant sects to practice their brand of Christianity. This study provides insight into how Christian influences can shape a nation, and how this divided state defined what a “Godly Nation” should entail. 

Senior Vanessa Royal’s work, “An Investigation into the Biomechanics and Treatment Modalities of Overriding Dorsal Spinous Processes (“Kissing Spine”) in Equines” focuses on an issue commonly found in horses called the Kissing spine where there is an impingement or overriding of the dorsal spinous processes. As a rider herself, and having worked at a therapeutic riding center, Royal has had first hand experience working with a horse recovering from kissing spine surgery. She saw how important it is to build a strong back in all horses. 

During her research, Royal was intrigued by the connection between correct training and preventing the spine issue. “The rehabilitation tools used post surgery are extremely useful as preventative measures and should be incorporated into a horse's routine… kissing spine is most likely to occur in horses with a long history of being worked incorrectly,” she said, “Letting a horse be inverted doesn’t just look bad under saddle class it can cause repetitive loading damage to the spine. Corect training with an emphasis on the health of the horse is everything.”  

Senior Leonard Memon’s research is titled “Reciprocity of Invitational Rhetoric Within the Context of Polarizing Topics,” Seeing a gap in the literature, Memon’s paper aims to bridge it by examining whether reciprocity can motivate individuals to engage in civil discourse using invitational rhetoric when discussing polarizing topics. Two discussions on polarizing topics were analyzed, and a chi-squared test of independence was used to measure statistical significance. His findings indicate that while reciprocity can encourage the use of invitational rhetoric, it is insufficient to bring about a significant shift in discourse.

It is inspiring to see such talented and driven individuals and we look forward to seeing the impact they will make in their future endeavors. Congratulations to all the President's Academic Showcase finalists and winners in Tier I and Tier II for their outstanding achievements!


The 2023 Academic Showcase winners are:

Best Academic Poster  Harry Nixon

Tier 2 1st Place  Greta Jones

Tier 2 2nd Place  Kyra Enoru

Tier 2 3rd Place  Reagan Wagner

Tier 1 1st Place  Nathan Estrick

Tier 1 2nd Place  Vanessa Royal

Tier 1 3rd Place  Oliver Di Martino & Hannah Kim

Tier 1 Honorable Mention Rebekah Caesar

Tier 1 Honorable Mention Leonard Memon




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