Adams State students complete scholarly work


Because faculty at Adams State University focus on undergraduate education, students frequently conduct and present research, attend conferences and workshops, and participate in student organizations.

"At larger institutions, students often do not have such opportunities until their senior year or in graduate study," said Adams State President Beverlee J. McClure. "The dedicated mentorship of professors and staff helps our students succeed and makes Adams State University a very special place."

Following is a sample of students' recent scholarly activities and recognition:


The Adams State chapter of the Tri-Beta National Biological Honor Society hosted the 2016 Western-1 Regional Undergraduate Research Conference on campus. Seven students presented their research, with three taking home awards. First place award winners receive a $750 travel stipend to attend and compete at the National Tri-Beta conference.

  • Christian Nenninger won the Brooks Award (1st place) for best cellular/molecular oral presentation.
  • Alex Mullins and John Whitinger won the Johnson Award (1st place) for best overall poster presentation.
  • Ryan Miller won 2nd place in overall poster presentation.

School of Business

All 14 participants in the recent 2016 Phi Beta Lambda (PBL) State Leadership Conference qualified to compete at this summer's National Leadership conference. In addition, Adams State's Chance Padilla was elected PBL State President.

Chance Padilla was elected State President of Phi Beta Lambda (PBL).


Eight students went to the National American Chemical Society meeting in San Diego, March 13-16, and attended a banquet where they were given a Commendable Award for the club's participation in the 2014/2015 school year. Two ASU students presented posters on their research.

Earth Sciences

Sunayna Wahi, a senior geology major with a minor in geography, recently received the 2016 Rocky Mountain Association of Geologists' Neal J. Harr Memorial Outstanding Student Award, as well as the Association of Women Geoscientists (AWG) Outstanding Student Award for 2016.

Physical geography majors Seth Clock and Cory Ott presented their research at the annual Association of American Geographers conference in San Francisco.

Sunayna Wahi won Outstanding Student Awards from two geological organizations.

English, Theatre & Communication

The Lost and Found Improv Troupe traveled to Chicago over Spring Break for workshops at the world-renowned Second City Training Center.

The Lost & Found at Second City in Chicago.

Human Performance & Physical Education

Two HPPE graduate students successfully defended their thesis projects this spring.

  • Katelyn Smith's work is titled, "Exploring Athletic Identity in a Team of NCAA Division II Women's Basketball Players."
  • Dustin Oranchuk's thesis is "Comparison of the Hang High-Pull and Trap-Bar Jump Squat in the Development of Vertical Jump and Isometric Force-Time Characteristics.


  • Graduating senior percussion and music education major, Juan Francisco Cristobal, was awarded a full fellowship to attend the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) to earn a master of arts and Ph.D. in ethnomusicology.
  • The ASU Flute Ensemble performed an outreach concert at The Bridge retirement community, April 14.
  • Sophomore percussion performance and music education major Kevin Johnson competed with the Winter Guard International (WGI) Independent Marching Percussion Group, "Altitude," at the WGI World Championships on April 7-9 at the University of Dayton.


Twenty-three psychology students recently attended the Rocky Mountain Psychological Association conference in Denver. Nine students presented five oral and poster presentations. Senior Lenore Reinhart won the Psi Chi Award for her presentation, "Condensed Self-Compassion Training Pilot Program Effective."


Five sociology majors presented their research at the 10th Annual Western Slope Undergraduate Sociology Symposium, held at Fort Lewis College in Durango. Sociology students from Western, Mesa, Fort Lewis and Adams participate in this symposium, which rotates among the schools, and will be held next spring (2017) at ASU.

Lenore Reinhard's research won the Psi Chi Award at the Rocky Mountain Psychological Association conference, as well as 2nd place for Best Oral Presentation at ASU's Student Scholar Days.

Adams State Student Scholar Days

Scholarly work is also celebrated on campus, through Student Scholar Days, held April 7-8 for the ninth year.

Awards were presented as follows:

Best Abstract

  • First place, receiving $50 each – Russell Geminden and Garrett Visser, biology
  • Second place, receiving $75 – Azarel Madrigal, political science
  • Third place, receiving $25 each – John Whitinger and Alex Mullins, biology

Best Poster

  • First place, receiving $75 each – John Whitinger and Alex Mullins, biology
  • Second place, receiving $62.50 each –Russell Geminden and Garrett Visser, biology
  • Third place (a tie), receiving $50 each – Ryan Miller, cellular and molecular biology, and Christian Nenninger, chemistry and molecular biology

Best Oral Presentation

  • First place, receiving $75 each – Jackson Espeset and David Sheppard, HPPE
  • Second place, receiving $125 – Lenore Reinhart, psychology
  • Third place, receiving $100 – Kole Kelly, agribusiness

By Julie Waechter