Skip to content

Division of Research

2023 Research Symposium

The 8th Annual Research Symposium was held on May 10 at the Watt Family Innovation Center. The symposium provided an opportunity to bring your unique expertise, ideas and perspectives to the table as faculty from every College and the Libraries gathered to discuss impactful research. 

This one-day Symposium included research presentations and group discussions and the announcement of the 2023 Researcher of the Year and the University Research, Scholarship and Artistic Achievements Awards. The schedule is below, with additional details and abstracts for each breakout session posted at the bottom of this page. 

Breakout sessions were in person only. The plenary session, awards ceremony and strategic planning forum were conducted via Zoom sessions. 

Please send questions to Srikanth Pilla (, Dani Herro (, Chris Saski (, Erica Walker ( or Jacqueline Galbreath (   

Schedule at a Glance
8:00 a.m. Breakfast and coffee available
8:15 a.m.

Welcome from the Symposium organizers: Srikanth Pilla (Automotive Engineering), Dani Herro (Learning Sciences), Erica Walker (Graphic Communications) and Chris Saski (Plant and Environmental Sciences)

Watt Center Auditorium


8:30 a.m.

Strategic Planning Forum with Vice President for Research Tanju Karanfil and Provost Bob Jones

Watt Center Auditorium 


9:15 a.m. Morning Break
9:30 a.m.

Plenary Session - "Toward Impactful Research" 

Watt Center Auditorium


  • Jessica Kohout-Tailor (Libraries)
  • Julianne Wenner (Education)
  • Jorge Luis Garcia (Business)
  • Paula Agudelo (Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences)
  • Kerry Smith (Science)
  • Catherine Mobley (Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences)
  • Joseph Brent Morris (Architecture, Arts and Humanities)
  • Nathan McNeese (Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences)
10:45 a.m. Breakout Session 1 (details below)
12:00 p.m. Lunch
12:45 p.m. Breakout Session 2 (details below)
2:15 p.m.

Grad 3-Minute Thesis Presentations 

Watt Center Auditorium

2:30 p.m.

President Clements/Researcher of the Year and University Research, Scholarship and Artistic Achievement Awards Ceremony

Watt Center Auditorium

3:30 p.m. Afternoon Break
3:45 p.m. Breakout Session 3 (details below)
5:00-6:00 p.m. Networking and Social Hour


  • Breakout Session 1 (10:45 a.m. – Noon)


    Panel Discussion led by Mik Carbajales-Dale, associate professor of Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences

    The newly-formed School of Civil and Environmental Engineering & Earth Sciences (SCEEES) is laser-focused on the infrastructure and environmental issues that directly impact how we build, work and create the quality of our planet. The school's Research Integration Committee has been exploring avenues of potential overlap and growth for the school. This effort has led to the identification of four research thrusts for the school: (1) surface and subsurface; (2) Earth's ecosphere; (3) smart city service; and (4) resilient communities. To aid in the effort, the school has made available seed funding for collaborations across the departments within the school. This session will include presentations on projects that span the school's broad research mission. 


    Room 106

    Panel Discussion led by Karen Burton, lecturer, University Libraries

    The growing popularity of Open Access (OA) publishing has provided researchers around the world with many new options to disseminate their work to the broadest audience possible. OA publishing in some capacity is now required by many funding agencies and carries a citation advantage for works available openly, but often carries a substantial cost for authors in the form of article processing charges (APCs). Clemson Libraries has offered an OA Publishing Fund since 2016 to award small amounts from the Libraries' collections budget (typically used for books, journals, databases, and other resources) to individual authors to offset these APCs. This 75-minute session will consist of: 1. A presentation of the current status of the OA Publishing Fund, including data on which departments are benefiting the most, which publishers are benefitting, and possible shortcomings of the program, 2. Updates regarding the Open Access publishing landscape and relevant trends, and 3. Suggested changes to the OA Fund that would take effect in July 2023, with open discussion time for audience feedback on these changes or other questions and suggestions.  


    Room 316

    Panel Discussion led by Thomas Britt, professor of psychology

    Human Factors Engineering holds great promise for the improvement of healthcare clinical operations and is emerging as a synergistic collaboration between Clemson University and Prisma Health. The present panel will bring together leaders and researchers from Clemson University and Prisma Health to discuss research programs applying human factors engineering to improve the processes and experience of giving and receiving care, and patient and provider safety, health, and wellness outcomes. Panel session members will include the following individuals: Jonathan Gleason, MD, Chief Clinical Officer for Prisma Health, will provide an overview of the importance of always considering human factors in healthcare. Divya Srinivasan, PhD, Department of Industrial Engineering, will provide an overview of how Clemson researchers from multiple colleges are applying human factors principles to different aspects of healthcare. Anjali Joseph, PhD, School of Architecture, will provide an overview of her research on the role of the built environment in healthcare human factors research. Jackie Cha, PhD, Department of Industrial Engineering, will discuss her research on the use of unobtrusive measures to assess nontechnical skills among surgical teams. Sudeep Hegde, PhD, Department of Industrial Engineering, will discuss his research on enabling resilient performance in complex environments in healthcare. Finally, Marissa Shuffler, PhD, Department of Psychology, will discuss her research on monitoring burnout and wellbeing among Emergency Department clinicians. The session will conclude with a discussion of additional areas of research on human factors approaches to healthcare and the encouragement of Clemson faculty with relevant expertise to become engaged in the initiative.


    Room 208

    Individual Presentations. Chair: Srikanth Pilla, ExxonMobil Employees Endowed Chair, Automotive Engineering.

    • Amanda Regan, assistant professor, History and Geography: Digital History, U.S. History, and Women and Gender History 
    • Em Adams, assistant professor, Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management: Intimate partner and gender-based violence; Trauma-sensitive care; Culturally affirming healthcare; mind-body approaches to building resilience after trauma; healthcare worker well-being; simulation in healthcare education; Healthcare policy to improve healthcare equity among marginalized populations.
    • Thomas Sharkey, Professor, Industrial Engineering: Modeling and Disrupting the Operations of Domestic Sex Trafficking Networks through Survivor-Informed, Transdisciplinary Research 
     Room 208 Breakout Session 1 Abstracts


    Room 218

    Individual Presentations. Chair: Erica Walker, associate professor, Graphic Communications.

    • Amanda Bridges, associate professor, Graphic Communications: Dye Sublimation, Digital Printing, Direct-to-Garment Printing, and Graphic Communications Education.
    • Carl Blue, associate professor, Graphic Communications: Technology, Innovation, and Curriculum Development.
    • Gerry Derksen, instructor, Graphic Communications: From Sketch to Screen: Enhancing the Design Pipeline with AI
     Room 218 Breakout Session 1 Abstracts


    Room 310

    Poster Session 1. Chair: Janice Withycombe, associate professor, School of Nursing.

    • Thandi Nixon: Potential role of lactobacilli in mitigating the negative effects of heat stress on the immune responses of chickens.
    • James McKenzie: Clinical Reasoning and the Diagnostic Process.
    • Akash Shanmugam Boobalan: Developing a Common Clinical Decision System Module for Immunization Recommendations
    • Anna Preter: Lung Cancer Screening Education and Implementation.
    • Lu Zhang: Cancer Epidemiology, Residential Segregation and Health Disparities.
    • Mytchell Ernst: How many and how fast can inexperienced clinical researchers generate data-driven hypotheses in two hours?
    • Alice Franco: This study measures skin conductance (SC) as a proxy for pain in infants with Neonatal Opioid Withdrawal Syndrome.
    • Micah Jordan: Residential Segregation, Social Determinants of health, and Social Epidemiology
    • Emily Doherty: Perinatal Health and Health Disparities
    • James Paul Gremillion, Alexis Sales: Determinants of Health, Health Promotion, and Socio-Behavioral Health Sciences
    Poster Session 1 Abstracts
  • Breakout Session 2 (12:45 p.m. – 2 p.m.)


    Panel Discussion led by Jean McKendry, director of research development, College of Education.

    Fostering Impactful Research in K-12 Educational Settings.

    Many Clemson University academic units support wide-ranging research and outreach initiatives that involve and impact K-12 schools across South Carolina (SC). Given the variety of university research and outreach initiatives that intersect with K-12 education (formal and informal), the goals of this session are to bring together representatives of these initiatives who are interested in 1) mutual learning about university activities, best practices, and impact in K-12 education and 2) exploring how to compile and share information about activities and resources with faculty seeking to connect their scholarship and outreach to K-12 settings. The session will include a series of short lightening talks about selected initiatives followed by a moderated discussion. Outcomes could range from establishing an informal K-12 outreach community of practice that gathers once a year to preparing a more formal asset map or other product. 


    Room 106

    Panel Discussion led by Rachel Wagner, associate professor, Educational and Organizational Leadership Development

    Federal funding agencies are increasing their focus on the creation of diverse and inclusive grant project teams and ensuring teams utilize a diversity, equity, and/or inclusion lens for their grant work. The proposed session will bring together experts in DEI from within the College of Education to discuss opportunities for research teams to weave DEI throughout their project proposals.


    Room 316

    Individual Presentations. Chair: Chris Saski, associate professor, Plant and Environmental Sciences.

    • Gerry Derksen, instructor, Graphic Communications: Usability and User Experience with Interactive Media
    • Sudeep Popat, associate professor, Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences: Wastewater Treatment, Anaerobic Digestion, Electrochemical Treatment, and Resource Recovery.
     Room 316 Breakout Session 2 Abstracts


    Room 208

    Individual Presentations. Chair: Chris Vidas, electronic resources librarian, University Libraries.

    • Andrew Metcalf, assistant professor, Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences: Air Pollution.
    • Congyue Annie Peng, Research Assistant Professor, Bioengineering: Genes, Genomes, Pathogens, Peptide, and Cell Therapy
    • David Ladner, associate professor, Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences: Water, Environment, and Sustainability
     Room 208 Breakout Session 2 Abstracts


    Room 218

    Individual Presentations. Chair: Erica Walker, associate professor, Graphic Communications.

    • Michelle Boettcher, associate professor, Educational and Organizational Leadership Development: Senses of Belonging and Community in Higher Education.
    • Shanna Hirsch, associate professor, Education and Human Development: The ECHO Model: A Case-Based and Collaborative Approach to Building Virtual Communities of Practice For South Carolina Educators.
    • Barry Garst, professor, Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management: Promoting Youth and Young Adult Health and Well-Being During Summertime: A Multi-Year Research Agenda.
     Room 218 Breakout Session 2 Abstracts


    Room 310

    Poster Session 2. Chair: Dev Arya, professor, Chemistry.

    • Walker Spivey: Crop Physiology, Crop Improvement, Lipidomics, and Climate Change
    • Payton Davis: Environment, Soil, and Cover Crops
    • Siddhartha Regmi: Sea Level Rise, Coastal Forest Ecology, and Marsh Transgression
    • Julia Boone: UAV-based Wildfire Monitoring and Detection, Multi-agent Systems
    • Suzanne Crull: Environmental Microbiology
    • Jyoti Prasad Kakati: Climate Resilient Soybean Production
    • Sepideh: Food, Nutrition and Packaging Sciences
    • Anastasia Thayer: Agricultural Economics
    • Penelope Romo: DNA Repair

    Poster Session 2 Abstracts
  • Breakout Session 3 (3:45 p.m. – 5 p.m.)


    Panel Discussion led by Shelia Cotton, associate vice president for research development.  

    Emerging Technologies and Their Uses and Impacts. 

    Since its launch in November last year, ChatGPT has gathered both positive and negative public attention. It has also spurred several debates on the use of other generative artificial intelligence (AI) tools in industry, science, and education. While several publishers and higher education institutions have created policies related to ChatGPT use, most of these policies have focused on the prohibition of use of this AI tool. We propose a panel consisting of Clemson faculty to discuss the pros, cons, and challenges of ChatGPT use: (i) for conducting research, such as developing grant proposals, writing manuscripts, and reviewing articles; (ii) by faculty and staff to create teaching material and perform repetitive workplace tasks (e.g., grading); (iii) by students to complete homework assignments, create work of art, help complete milestone projects (e.g., dissertation, thesis); and (iv) other use cases in higher education (e.g., spurring innovation, searching for new ideas, or developing work-related skills). This panel will include faculty and administrators from across Clemson to present the pros, cons, and challenges of ChatGPT and other AI tools for higher education.


    Room 106

    Panel Discussion led by Bhupinder Singh Farmaha, assistant professor, Plant and Environmental Sciences.

    With the global population expected to grow from 7.7 billion in 2019 to 9.7 billion (26% increase) in 2050, there is an urgent need to improve soil health functions to ensure food security, mitigate climate change, and invest in a sustainable future. In recent years, conservation agricultural management practices such as minimum soil disturbance, maximum soil cover, and crop diversification have been promoted to restore and maintain soil health by increasing soil biodiversity, improving soil water and nutrient cycling, and reducing soil degradation in terms of wind and water erosion, loss of soil organic matter and nutrients, acidification, and compaction. Despite numerous proposed and documented benefits of conservation agricultural management practices, adoption among producers remains unsatisfactorily low. This pilot project between Clemson University and South Carolina State University will provide incentives to growers to implement selected climate-smart (CS) production practices. The project will also measure and verify the carbon and greenhouse gas (GHG) benefits associated with the CS practices and will support the development of markets for the resulting climate-smart commodities (CSC). The state-wide pilot project will focus on representative agricultural production sectors of South Carolina, including vegetables, peanuts, beef cattle, and forest products, and will ensure the meaningful involvement of small and underserved producers. 


    Room 218

    Panel Discussion led by Arelis Moore, associate professor, Languages.

    Community Health, Health disparities reduction, Health Equity Promotion, The Social Determinants of Health, Community-based Participatory Research. 

    Panelists will share best practices from their global service learning (GSL) projects, done locally, and strategies and principles for developing reciprocal partnerships (i.e., non-exploitative, respect the knowledge and involve community partners in the academic course) with community-based organizations to facilitate students’ engagement. These strategies are paramount for developing impacting GSL initiatives that facilitate productive experiences for our students, while impacting the health and well-being of the communities they collaborate with. Panelists will show that some service-learning experiences completed locally can also be considered global because of certain elements that allow transforming local community engagement to a global exposure, such as the service-learning assignments including work with communities of first-generation immigrants, low-acculturated immigrants, and displaced persons.


    Room 208

    Individual Presentations. Chair: Dani Herro, professor, Education and Human Development.

    • Charles Starkey, associate professor, Philosophy and Religion: Seeing by Example: The Central Role of Literary Style in Promoting Environmental Consciousness. 
    • Douglas Seefeldt, associate professor, History and Geography: Digital History, American West, History and Memory
    • Michael Caterino, John and Suzanne Morse Chair of Arthropod Biodiversity, Plant and Environmental Sciences: Arthropod Biodiversity and Evolution.
     Room 208 Breakout Session 3 Abstracts


    Room 310

    Poster Session 3. Chair: Chris Vidas, electronic resources librarian, University Libraries.

    • Alexandra Skrocki, Dr. Barry Garst, and Dr. Ali Dubin: Camp providers’ role in responding to health issues faced by children, adolescents, and young adult staff during summertime
    • Shamella Cromarie: Recruiting Underrepresented Populations Libraries, Organizational Performance and Improvement Science, and Research Methodology
    • Jody Cripps: From Lambert to West Families: Deaf Genes on Martha’s Vineyard, 1700s to 1950s
    • Jody Cripps: Music in Signed Language
    • Scott D. Swain: A Scalable Framework for Dynamic Interface Testing of Augmented Reality Marketing Applications
    • Scott D. Swain: Higher Levels of Compensation for Service Failures Induce Consumer Guilt When Firms are Close and Future Transactions are Distant
    • Kris Frady: Identifying unique geographic and cultural assets to make pre-transfer engineering students more successful
    • Danielle Latham: Undergraduate Education
    • Emily Howell: Multilingual Learners, Professional Development, Caregiver Engagement
    • Timothy Brown: Design as research/scholarship. Architecture and the crossings of public, social, and civic space. Spatial Justice. Design for equity.
    Poster Session 3 Abstracts


    Room 316

    Poster Session 4. Chair: Chris Saski, associate professor, Plant and Environmental Sciences.

    • Ciara Aumend: Oral Microbiome and HIV in Children
    • Allison Mann: Human Microbiome, Probiotics, Oral Health and Disease
    • Shanna L. Estes: Vis-NIR Spectroscopy for Analysis of Aqueous Neptunium-Acetate Complexation and Thermodynamics
    • Sagar V. Kanhere: Carbon Fiber Processing, Composites and Polymer Processing
    • Qiushi Chen: Computational Mechanics; Numerical Modeling of Granular and Porous Materials (geomaterials, lunar and martian regolith, biomass feedstocks); Material Processing and Handling
    • Maryelle Nyeck: Deep Eutectic Solvents
    • Madhushi Bandara: Exploring halogen bonding in cocrystals and deep eutectics
    • Shreeya Sharma: Probiotic and Gut Health
    • Tanuj Gupta: Nanomaterials
    • Cecilia Delgado Solorzano: Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence
     Poster Session 4 Abstracts


Division of Research
Division of Research | 230 Kappa Street, Clemson, SC 29634