Posted on June 8, 2020 by COLFA

Dozens of students at every level of their college studies competed in one of seven categories and today, the college is proud to announce the winners. For the first time, faculty mentors are also being recognized alongside the first place winner in that category.

COVID-19 may have forced students to continue their Spring semester classes from home but that didn’t stop UTSA’s College of Liberal and Fine Arts from hosting its 20th Annual Spring Research Conference. Dozens of students at every level of their college studies competed in one of seven categories and today, the college is proud to announce the winners. For the first time, faculty mentors are also being recognized alongside the first place winner in that category. 

“We’re so proud of all the student participants, not just for the caliber of their research, but also their persistence to see their projects through during this time of great change and disruption,” said Interim Dean Rhonda M. Gonzales. “As classes moved online, so too did many of the research project presentations. Students were inventive and creative in producing and presenting their research.”

The annual COLFA conference is a chance for graduate and undergraduate students pursuing majors within the college to present original work in a forum of interested and critically engaged minds. Students work with a faculty member to develop their research presentations, scholarly projects, performances and other creative works.

COLFA Associate Dean of Research Seok Kang said the conference is also a great opportunity to put into practice marketable skills such as critical thinking, problem solving, oral and written communication, working in teams with other students or working independently with a faculty mentor.

“For many of our students this is their first experience with professionally presenting their research,” Kang said. “It’s a great learning opportunity and an accomplishment that winners can then use on their resume or CV. This year’s participants did some impressive research. Congratulations to the winners and their faculty mentors.”


Category: Creative Writing


First Place: Erika Garcia; Faculty Mentor David Vance; Project: “Isaiah 40: 29 -30”



First Place: Josh Levario; Faculty Mentor Wendy Barker; Project: “The Semantics of Pretty, Mother, and God”

Second Place: Jocelyn Campos; Project: What Are You Made Of?

Honorable Mentions: Christina Troy, Project: “Death, Dying, & All That Comes Before;” Joshua Perez, Project: “Taking Things Seriously”


Category: Digital Media


First Place: Hugo Santana; Faculty Mentor Scott Sherer Project: “Uncertain Site”



First Place: Charlie Adams; Faculty Mentor Nancy Membrez; Project: “Blackpill”

Second Place: Place: Sara Sanchez, Project: “Aliens at UTSA”


Category: Research Paper


First Place: Alessandra Villarreal; Faculty Mentor Kat Brown; Project: “Ceramic Production and Distribution: Testing a Middle Preclassic Ceramic Economy in the Mopan River Valley, Belize”

Second Place: Anthony DeLuca, Project: “Let there be (more) light! Using multispectral imagery to detect archaeological sites in the Tequila Valleys of Jalisco, Mexico”



First Place: Brodie Harmon; Faculty Mentor Juliet Wiersema; Project: “Representing Gender and Sexual Difference in Colonial Latin America”

Second Place: Derek W. Kubacki, Project: “Realist Theory and Russian Military Aggression in Eastern Europe Since the “end” of the Cold War”

Third Place: Kathryn E. Fisher, Project: “Think Tanks and Foreign Policy: The Case of the Putin-Medvedev Tandemocracy”



First Place: Zoe Streeter; Faculty Mentor Bridget Drinka; Project: “The Rise of “They” as a Non-Gendered Singular Personal Pronoun”

Second Place: Rudolph Esparza, Project: “En La Tierra De Los Lobos: American Predation and Liminal Space in Post-World War II Fiction”

Third Place: Inna Gamez, Project: “Perception of Antianxiety Effect of Supplemental Cannabidiol Oil Based Products”


Category: Spanish Research Paper


First Place: Cynthia Gibson; Faculty Mentor Malgorzata Oleszckiewicz-Peralba; Project: “La dualidad femenina en la literatura narco: muerte, violencia y traición?


Category: Research Poster


First Place: Lori Barkwill-Love; Faculty Mentor Jason Yaeger; Project: “Modeling Early Maize in the North American Southwest”

Second Place: Shelby Samartino, Project: “Vaginal Microbiome Sampling in Bonobos (Pan paniscus)”

Third Place: Christina Frasier, Project: “Placekeeping and Cultural Sustainability amidst UTSA's Downtown Campus Expansion”


First Place: Emily Glotfelty; Faculty Mentor Eva Wikberg; Project: “Behavioral Responses to Increased Population Size in Colobus vellerosus at Boabeng Fiema, Ghana”



First Place: Steven Vega; Faculty Mentor Pablo Requena; Project: “Child language acquisition of Spanish noun/adjective word order variation”

Second Place: Katharine Stephens, Project: “Marketplace Production and Exchange of Obsidian at Xunantunich”

Third Place: Blaine Morris, Project: “German Immigrants in Hill Country Texas: Immigration and Assimilation from Secession to the Civil War”


Category: Music


First Place: Susana Frade; Faculty Mentor Drew Stephen; Project: “Fandango composed by Joaquín Rodrigo”

Second Place: Tavis McGeachin, Project: “Releasing the Gendered Norms of American Society in Elementary Music Education”

Third Place: Jasmine Fernandez, Project: “Comparison of Vocal Dose Estimates for Popular Soprano Arias with Teacher Difficulty Rankings”



First Place: Nicole Russell; Faculty Mentor Ethan Wickman; Project: “Evo 8A”

Second Place: Ashley Skinner, Vivian Suarez-Espinoza, Sasha Dietz, and Alejandra Balderrama, Project: “The Changing Voice” 


Category: Art 


First Place: Kimberly Bishop; Faculty Mentor Scott Sherer; Project: “Sheep”

Second Place: Hudson Ingram, Project: “Stippling Chair”

Third Place: Christopher Moncivais, Project: “Current Tenant”



First Place: Angeles Salinas; Faculty Mentor Scott Sherer; Project: “Self”

Second Place: Vidal Arevalos, Project: “Ant Lion Larvae”

Third Place: Madeline Herrera, Project: “Haze”


Best in Show: Kris Addison, Project: “Seven”