Annual Innovation Showcase Announces Award Winners

Friday, April 26 2013

MOSCOW, Idaho –University of Idaho students and student teams demonstrated their exceptional skill, confidence and knowledge at the annual Innovation Showcase on April 23. 

Judges selected as award winners the following students and student teams from among the 84 participants:

Undergraduate Presentations

  • First Place: Rhianna Hohbein, senior, ecology and conservation biology, for her work evaluating the effects on the short-tailed fruit bat of habitat loss and fragmentation in Costa Rica.
  • Second Place: Rebecca Johnson, senior, ecology and conservation biology, for her study of inconsistency among selection indicators in the forked fungus beetle.
  • Third Place: Sarah Gross, Daisy Aguilera, Kaylee Baker, Daniel Lierman-Burns, Sara Randolph, seniors, College of Business, for their marketing plan for LifeProof smart phone cases. 

Graduate Artistic and Creative Presentations

  • First Place: Eric Demattos and Jeff Hutchison, art, for their image-transfer system that allows for the layering of computer-printed material and traditional oil painting.
  • Second Place: Martin Nyarko, art, for his series exploring the use of aluminum soda cans to create costumes.
  • Third Place: Eric Demattos, art, for his work with high-dynamic range photography. 

Graduate Disciplinary Presentations

  • First Place: Jennifer Anand Sundararajan, physics, for his research on using nanomaterials to improve nuclear power performance and safety.
  • Second Place: Jing Dai, natural resources, for her work developing a process for converting woody biomass into value-added bioplastics using microbes taken from wastewater.
  • Third Place: John Maxwell, applied economics, for his study evaluating the power of goals, groups and incentives in poverty alleviation in developing countries.

 Graduate Interdisciplinary Presentations

  • First Place: Vanessa Martinez, education, for her research on the relationships among acculturation, psychological measures and health risk factors in college-aged Mexican-American women.
  • Second Place: Isaiah Gyan, chemistry, for his presentation on a new carbon material discovered in a U-Idaho laboratory.
  • Third Place: Jarod Blades, Kerry Kemp and Zion Klos, natural resources, for their project conducting climate change workshops in the northern Rockies and evaluating the participants’ perceptions.

 Undergraduate Posters

  • First Place: Duy Nguyen, junior, biology, “Regeneration of Axons and Up Regulation of Phosphorylated c-Jun in DSCAM Mutant Mouse Retina”
  • Second Place: Curtis Johnson, senior, geological sciences, “The Relationship Between Igneous Activity and Mineralization Within the Leeville Mining Complex”
  • Third Place: William Payne, senior, agricultural and biological engineering, “In-Situ Measurement of Vertical Bypass Flow Using a Drain Gauge”

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Media Contact: Tara Roberts, University Communications, (208) 885-7725, 

About the University of Idaho
The University of Idaho helps students to succeed and become leaders. Its land-grant mission furthers innovative scholarly and creative research to grow Idaho's economy and serve a statewide community. From its main campus in Moscow, Idaho, to 70 research and academic locations statewide, U-Idaho emphasizes real-world application as part of its student experience. U-Idaho combines the strength of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities. It is home to the Vandals. For information, visit