2018 Oswald Research and Creativity Award Winners Named

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 14, 2018) ― The University of Kentucky Office for Undergraduate Research hosted the 54th annual Oswald Research and Creativity Awards, naming 19 new winners. 

Created in 1964 by former UK President John Oswald during the university's centennial celebration, the Oswald awards encourage students to step outside of the box when it comes to research and activities on campus, with an objective to promote creativity in all fields of study. While award categories have grown over the years, the objective has remained constant. 

Categories include biological sciences; design, including architecture, landscape architecture and interior design; fine arts, including film, music, photography, painting and sculpture; humanities, from creative and critical-research approaches; physical and engineering sciences; and social sciences.

Awards in each category are: First Place — $350; Second Place — $200; and Honorable Mention. Submissions are submitted anonymously to a faculty member in a related field to review and is judged by a by a rubric based on originality, clarity, scholarly and artistic contribution, and scope and depth of the research. This year, there were a total of 57 student entries. 

This year's winners are: 

Biological Sciences

  • First Place: Usman Hamid, “Effects of Environmental Conditions on c-fos Expression in Rat Nucleus Accumbens After Remifentanil”;
  • Second Place: Hannah Thompson, “Inflammatory Effects of Extracellular Vesicles Released from the Normal Tissue Target of Doxorubicin”; and 
  • Honorable Mention: Joshua Preston, “PCB126 Exposure during Pregnancy Significantly Affects Maternal and Fetal Gene Expression.”


  • First Place: Teonna Radevski, “Symbiotic Spaces,” and
  • Second Place: Alyssa Weir, “Interlocking Harmony of Opposites.”

Fine Arts

  • First Place: Samantha Hensley, “Gathering My Friends,” and
  • Second Place: Ali Deane, “Amniotic Fluid Study.”

Humanities: Creative

  • First Place: Christian Tipton, “Creative Writing in Digital Spaces: Digital Story Book”; 
  • Second Place: Kenneth Arnett, “Shindig”; and
  • Honorable Mention: Haley Drake, “Some Poems.” 

Humanities: Critical

  • First Place: Anna Romaniuk, “Droga Panni Ministro,” and
  • Second Place: Alyssa Mertka, “When This You See, Remember Me: The Vietnam Veterans Memorial and World War I Monuments.”

Physical and Engineering Sciences

  • First Place: Katie Kloska, “Gas Phase Spectra of MgO Molecules: A Possible Connection from Gas Phase Molecules to Planet Formation”;
  • Second Place: Kaitlyn Kearns, “Relationship Between Sucrose Concentration and Spallation Region in S. Mutans Biofilms Loaded by Laser-induced Stress Waves”; and 
  • Honorable Mention: Brandon Enbody, “Biomimicry of Aquatic Organisms for Community Storm Design Applications.” 

Social Sciences

  • First Place: Hanna Carlson, “Client Protection Regulations for Microfinance Institutions in Ghana, Kenya, and Tanzania”; 
  • Second Place: Sierra Hatfield, “The Potential Electoral Influence of Internet Memes”;
  • Honorable Mention: Hina Iqbal, “Cultural Competency and its Effects on Social Capital”; and 
  • Honorable Mention: Megan Coffinbargar, “An Assessment of Disability Access at the University of Kentucky.”