WVSU honors student wins first prize in research video competition

Contact: Kimberly Osborne
(304) 766-3363
Oct. 23, 2013
WVSU honors student wins first prize in research video competition
INSTITUTE, W.Va. –Today Hannah Cavender, a West Virginia State University (WVSU) biology major, won top prize in the first-ever student science video competition at the fifth biennial Science, Technology and Research (STaR) Symposium.

Students from institutions across West Virginia entered the video competition, hosted by the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission’s (HEPC) Division of Science and Research. The competition required students to produce a short video explaining their work to general audiences.

“It is exhilarating to win,” said Cavender, who will graduate from WVSU in December. “It’s nice to see that when you invest yourself into a project and put your best foot forward to showcase it, it can really pay off.”

Cavender was one of four undergraduate finalists chosen to travel to the symposium and present their work to a panel of judges. Kevin Carte, a WVSU student working with Dr. Umesh Reddy, was also chosen to present, making WVSU the only institution to have multiple finalists in the undergraduate category.

“I am so proud of Hannah and Kevin for their commitment to research and desire to help others through their work in University labs,” WVSU President Dr. Brian O. Hemphill said. “State is home to some of the most rigorous research curriculum and having both students reach the finals—and one take the top prize—is a testament to our dedicated and outstanding faculty who continue to deliver an affordable, high-quality education.”

Cavender received a cash prize for her winning video, titled "Complexation of aluminum by nitrogen containing ligands," describing research she is performing with Dr. Genia Sklute of WVSU's chemistry department. Cavender will soon use the title for her honors thesis.

“We are interested in capturing aluminum and holding it in place,” she said in the video. Aluminum exists in soil and, when soil becomes acidic, it can interact with plant roots and negatively impact plant size and fruit production.

View Hannah’s winning video on the Division of Science and Research’s YouTube channel.

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West Virginia State University is a public, land grant, historically black university, which has evolved into a fully accessible, racially integrated, and multigenerational institution, located in Institute, W.Va. As a “living laboratory of human relations,” the university is a community of students, staff, and faculty committed to academic growth, service and preservation of the racial and cultural diversity of the institution. Its mission is to meet the higher education and economic development needs of the state and region through innovative teaching and applied research.
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