KSU at Trumbull Sophomore Wins 2023 Student Showcase

WARREN, Ohio – Plastics in the Oceans and their Effects on our Earth System, a research project of business management major Soraeya Loveland, took the top prize at this year’s Kent State University at Trumbull’s Student Showcase for Research, Scholarship and Creativity.

Loveland, a sophomore honors student and Warren G. Harding graduate, was one of 30 students who recently presented their research findings on topics ranging from altruism in millennials and Generation Z to Kent State students’ responses to World War II.

Loveland was awarded a $1,000 student showcase scholarship for her research, which came through an honors class project for her oceanography class taught by geology professor David Hacker.

“Dr. Hacker encouraged me to choose a topic that interested me, and I wanted to bring attention to a topic that has a critical impact on this place we call home,” Loveland said. “He encouraged me from the first day of class to put myself in the ‘first-place mindset.’ He believed I had the potential to win and told me just to relax and have fun.”

Loveland looked at the various types of plastics commonly used, what they are made of and how they affect not only animal populations, but the biosphere, geosphere and hydrosphere.

Two students mentored by Patricia Tomich, associate professor of psychology, took second and third place. Samantha Lovesee placed second with her research project titled Does Personal Growth Mediate the Link Between Trauma Exposure and Mental Health and earned a $750 scholarship. Dakota Smith was awarded a $500 third-place scholarship after researching Does Procrastination Explain the Link between Stress and Worse Mental health.

Laurie Hines, Honors College coordinator and assistant professor of education, said there were many first-time competitors who plan to participate again next year.

“By working with their faculty mentors on these projects, students accepted the challenge to think critically and rigorously – learn broadly and apply their knowledge and skills to topics about which they are passionate. This can only benefit them moving forward,” Hines said.

Pictured at top: Soraeya Loveland, right, presents her poster to KSU at Trumbull professor Min He.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.