Five Winners Announced at Nutshell Games March 19

A group of 30+ people stand on stage with a large slide behind them that reads "Nutshell Games 2022."
From left to right, the winners of the March 2022 Nutshell Games: Prashasti Agarwal, Viverjita Umashankar, Jatia Mills, Ruixuan Wang, and Jennifer Appiah-Kubi.

We are delighted to congratulate all 30 of the participants in the 2022 Nutshell Games!

The enthusiastic audience in the Anne and Ellen Fife Theatre at the Moss Arts Center March 19 learned about brains and bugs, cancer and incarceration, fish and fossils, bacteria and boogers, cybersecurity and streambank stability, smart phones and smart fibers, metals and meta-analyses, and much more.

Every year, the judges face the challenge of singling out just a few people to name as winners of the 90-second research talks competition. This year, our panel of judges named the following five winners:

  • Prashasti Agarwal, Crop and Soil Environmental Science, Rooting for the Little Guys
  • Jennifer Appiah-Kubi, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Spider-Man Hunts the Cyber-Man
  • Jatia Mills, Biomedical and Veterinary Sciences, The Role of Immune Cells in Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Viverjita Umashankar, Sustainable Biomaterials, Slowing the Flow of Fast-Furniture Through Internet-Enabled Local Reuse
  • Ruixuan Wang, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Should I Change My Clothes?

Special thanks to our panel of judges, which this year included

  • Carol Davis, Town of Blacksburg Sustainability Manager
  • Sylvester Johnson, Director of the Virginia Tech Center for Humanities
  • Elin Kelsey, spokesperson, scholar, educator, and author, University of Victoria School of Environmental Studies
  • Karen Roberto, Executive Director of the Virginia Tech Institute for Society, Culture and Environment
  • Daniel Sui, Senior Vice President for Research and Innovation, Virginia Tech
  • Aimée Surprenant, Dean of Virginia Tech’s Graduate School
  • Asaiah Townes, a 7th grader from Dalton Intermediate School in Radford.

The winners each receive $500. All contestants receive high quality video recordings of their presentations. And the audience now knows 90 seconds worth about 30 exciting research projects!

Contestants this year, with their programs of study and presentation titles, included

  1. Charlotte Nyblade, Biomedical and Veterinary Sciences, Piglet Models of Clostridioides difficile Infection
  2. Amy Hagen, Geosciences, P in the Sea: Understanding the End-Triassic Mass Extinction Using Phosphorus
  3. Saeed Behzadinasab, Chemical Engineering, Antimicrobial Coatings Save Lives!
  4. Shivangi Gupta, Human Development, Women at the Margins: Wives of Incarcerated Men in India
  5. Lauren Fritsch, Translational Biology, Medicine, and Health, AdjuSTING the Brain’s Immune System to Treat Brain Injuries
  6. Sadia Ahmed, Biomedical and Veterinary Sciences, Bugs and Brains: A Premature Story
  7. Thomas Bustamante, Fish and Wildlife Conservation, Stream Real Estate: How a Small Fish Builds Its Home in a Fluid Environment
  8. Sara Jamal Eddin, Architecture and Design Research, Light, Technology, and Health: Investigating the Use of XR Technologies as Architectural Tools to Design Healthy Indoor Lighting Environments
  9. Yezi Yang, Geosciences, Just Ask the 500-Million-Year Weatherman
  10. Jennifer Appiah-Kubi, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Spider-Man Hunts the Cyber-Man
  11. Laljeet Sangha, Biological Systems Engineering, Water Security from Field to State Through Science and Water Policy
  12. Holly Morrison, Biomedical and Veterinary Sciences, You’ve Got a Friend in Me: NIK Protein Protects Against Cancer
  13. Khan Mohammad Imran, Translational Biology, Medicine, and Health, Let’s Make Some Noise: Using Ultrasound to Silence Cancer
  14. Diana Devine, Human Development, Media and Cognition: This Is Your Brain on Smartphones
  15. Ruixuan Wang, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Should I Change My Clothes?
  16. Jatia Mills, Biomedical and Veterinary Sciences, The Role of Immune Cells in Traumatic Brain Injury
  17. Esha Dwibedi, Economics, Who Plays Nice? A Surprising Meta-Meta Analysis
  18. Daniel Smith, Biological Systems Engineering, Plant Hugs or Plant Snot: Which Would Soil Prefer?
  19. Prescott Vayda, Geosciences, What Can Virginia’s Oldest Fossil Tell Us About the Evolution of Shells?
  20. Juselyn Tupik, Biomedical and Veterinary Sciences, Battling Bacteria: How Does Our Immune System Beat Lyme Disease?
  21. Viverjita Umashankar, Sustainable Biomaterials, Slowing the Flow of Fast-Furniture Through Internet-Enabled Local Reuse
  22. Madison Gonzalez, Animal and Poultry Sciences, Horse on a Treadmill: Beyond the Jumbotron
  23. Prashasti Agarwal, Crop and Soil Environmental Science, Rooting for the Little Guys
  24. Mari Tarantino, Human Development, What’s Love Got to Do With It? Exploring Polyamorous Relationships
  25. Kaitlyn Theberge, Fish and Wildlife Conservation, Lobster ROLLing Out of Hot Water
  26. Nihar J. Gonsalves, Environmental Design and Planning, Understanding the Underlying Risks and Socio-Technical Challenges of Human Wearable Robot Interaction in the Construction Industry
  27. Xiaoying Li, Crop and Soil Environmental Science, What Are Biological Seed Treatments and Do They Work?
  28. Josefa K. Garcia, Biomedical and Veterinary Sciences, Artificial Intelligence in the Diagnosis of Brain Tumors
  29. Kristen Howard, Translational Biology, Medicine, and Health, How Does Exercise Change the Calories We Burn?
  30. Amanda Wei, Mechanical Engineering, Metal 3D Printing With Binder Jetting
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