Spring 2024 Symposium of Student Scholars Live Blog

KENNESAW, Ga. (April 16, 2024) — The Office of Undergraduate Research is hosting its Spring Symposium of Student Scholars this week, where undergraduate and graduate students will present their research projects through poster sessions, oral presentations, and virtually via Microsoft Teams.

Check back here as the Office of Undergraduate Research highlights select projects throughout the week!

View the Symposium program


Caroline Kok
Caroline Kok
3 p.m. Wednesday, April 17

Generating Empathy in Artists Through Creation

College of the Arts

Undergraduate Student: Caroline Kok

Research Mentors: Margaret Baldwin Pendergrass & Chuck Meacham

Caroline Kok explores the art of making audiences feel something and how the making of the art helps the artists themselves feel, change, or grow. Kok’s project, “Generating Empathy in Artists Through Creation,” took place throughout her writing and putting on a staged reading of her original play “Girl After Doomsday.”

“In this presentation, I outline different ways I made my play effective in fostering internal change instead of shame,” said Kok. “I am hoping others take note and allow themselves a chance to do the same in making their own art in a healthy capacity.

Kok has been involved in theater since the age of 13 and was always aware of how performance can affect people. 

“When I wrote a play purely for myself, I was inspired to look more at how it affected me personally – regardless of how the audience received it.”

Kok is a senior undergraduate student majoring in theatre and performance study with a concentration in acting.


Sarah McCubbins
Sarah McCubbins
2 p.m. Thursday, April 18

Cardiovascular Disease Hospitalization Outcomes in Atlanta 2022

Coles College of Business

Undergraduate Student: Sarah McCubbins & Caleb Wright

Research Mentor: Weiwei Chen

Sarah McCubbins and Caleb Wright are investigating cardiovascular disease outcomes in private and public hospitals in Atlanta by creating a clear comprehensive analysis of the outcomes of each type of facility. 

The leading cause of death in the United States and Georgia is cardiovascular disease, and McCubbins and her team are working to help providers implement the best care practices to save lives. 

“My team and I have clinical experience, therefore, I felt that our interdisciplinary knowledge from work and school would provide a unique perspective,” said McCubbins. “As an Atlanta native I feel privileged to have the opportunity to bring this type of knowledge to my community.”

McCubbins is a senior undergraduate student with a major in Integrated Health Science, Entrepreneurship, and Healthcare Innovation. 


2 p.m. Friday, April 19

Spatial Associations of Lung Cancer Rates and Socioeconomic, Health, and Environmental Factors in Georgia

Radow College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Undergraduate Student: Nguyet Le

Research Mentor: Jun Tu

Nguyet Le’s project, “Spatial Associations of Lung Cancer Rates and Socioeconomic, Health, and Environmental Factors in Georgia,” researches various contributions to lung cancer, which she describes as being well known but not well understood. Le’s project aims to enhance the awareness in the community that while smoking is a main factor that contributes to lung cancer, there are other factors that quicken the process of the cancer besides smoking.

“A smoker can quit smoking, but they might not stop overworking. Their environment, living conditions, and mental or physical health are all critical factors for a lung cancer patient to deal with,” Le said. “Their survival rates are also dependent on those.”

Le has enjoyed developing her critical and analytical thinking skills throughout her work and is excited to learn more about Geographic Information Systems (GIS). GISs are specialized tools to help store and analyze geographical data.

Le is a senior undergraduate student with a major in Geographic Information, Science, and Cartography.


Idrissa Abdoulaye
Idrissa Abdoulaye
Dialectical Utopism in Architectural Praxis: A Critique and Vision for Spatial Revolution, Self-Governance, and Social Transformation in Niger

College of Architecture and Construction Management

Undergraduate Student: Abdoulaye Idrissa

Research Mentor: Ehsan Sheikholharam Mashhadi

Idrissa Abdoulaye’s project, “Dialectical Utopism in Architectural Praxis: A Critique and Vision for Spatial Revolution, Self-Governance, and Social Transformation in Niger,” is more than just an academic endeavor. Abdoulye left what he described as the chaos-laden streets that had become scenes of collapse and despair and began searching for ways to make a change.

“Driven by the desire to contribute to meaningful societal change, my thesis project delves into the reconfiguration of public space as a catalyst for profound transformation," he said. "Departing from the chaotic landscapes I witnessed, I propose a prototype of social engagement that seeks to redefine the essence of democratic public spaces.”

Abdoulaye is seeking to create symbolic spaces that can foster feelings of empowerment and resistance and promote open dialogue, local economic sustainability, and knowledge empowerment.

Abdoulaye is an undergraduate student majoring in architecture and construction management.