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2021 RISE: Research and Innovation Symposium and Exhibition: Virtual Conference

This serves as program and guide to the 2021 Virtual Norfolk State University Research and Innovation Symposium.


Thanks all of the students, faculty, administrators and staff who supported our first-ever virtual undergraduate and graduate student research conference—RISE ’21 Committee




Graduate Students

Research Poster

1st place, Somto Azike, Urban Affairs, “Best Practices in Merging Cybersecurity Organizations” (faculty sponsor, Dr. Claude Turner)

2nd place: Kwesi Elliott, Computer Science, “Socio-Cybersecurity” (faculty sponsor, Dr. Claude Turner)

Oral Presentations

1st place, Marnee K. McClellan, Cyberpsychology (group leader) with Katelyn J. Haschke and Jason C. McClure “Internal Motivators: How Personality, Emotion, and the Need to Belong Influence the Fear of Missing Out” (faculty sponsor, Dr. Scott Debb)

2nd place, Jonathan Valenzuela, Materials Science (group leader) with Liam Harrigan and Ajeya Dixon “Structure and Transport Properties of Single Crystal Ca1-xBaxFe2O4,x=0-0.025” (faculty sponsor, Dr. Doyle Temple)


1st place, Nelson Whitaker, Visual Studies, “The New Blue Narrative” (faculty sponsor, Professor Solomon Isekeije)


Undergraduate Students

Research Poster

1st place, Tamia Carter, junior, Biology, “Animal Models of Alcohol Use Disorder: Dose, Sex, and Developmental Differences in Forced and Voluntary Alcohol Consumption” (faculty sponsor, Dr. Aliecia McClain)

2nd place, Kory Wells, senior, Chemistry, “Synthesis and magnetic properties of Li2Ni2Teo6” (faculty sponsor, Dr. Doyle Temple)

2nd place, Djomeni Djonkan, senior, Sociology, “The Importance of Cybersecurity Education in Organizations” (faculty sponsor, Dr. Yuying Shen)

Honorable Mention for high commendationsGianna Locker and Danielle Tindall, Biology, “Detecting Mycobacteriophage in Soil and Sediment from the Bank of the Eastern Branch of the Elizabeth River” (faculty sponsor, Dr. Nazir Barekzi)

Research Oral Presentations

1st place, Monique Christian, junior, Biology, “(AHR) driven by mast cells associated mechanisms in a mouse model of allergic airway disease” (faculty sponsor, Dr. Aylin Marz)

2nd place, Morgan Bond, junior, Biology, “The Use of Bioinformatic Computational Programs to Study and Predict the Three Dimensional Structure and Binding Site of Protein DE” (faculty sponsor, Dr. Joseph C. Hall)

Honorable Mention for high commendations: Tia Morton and Jensyn Carr, Biology, “First Report of Microplastics in Eastern Oysters (Crassostrea virginica) in the Elizabeth River” (faculty sponsor, Dr. Ashley Haines)


1st place, Noah Wiggins, freshman, Business Finance, “Microsoft Excel for Financial Analysts” (faculty sponsor, Josephine Stanley-Brown)

2nd place, Niya Grant, freshman, Business Marketing, “Analyzing Financial Information with Excel” (faculty sponsor, Josephine Stanley-Brown)

Welcome from the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. DoVeanna Fulton

Greetings and congratulations to the graduate and undergraduate students presenting in this year’s virtual Research Innovation Symposium and Exhibition/RISE 2021! Thank you to the faculty for their mentorship and participation as judges. Academic conferences provide a medium to learn about cutting-edge scholarship, share best practices and advance our understanding of various topics. The presentations this year from graduate and undergraduate students include innovative presentations on Excel, artistic exhibitions, and research posters and oral presentations on a myriad of topics including Cybersecurity to Text Anxiety to Coping with Mental Health as College Students during a global pandemic. These presentations demonstrate just a fraction of the concepts, practices, experiments, discussions and research our students, led by their faculty mentors, have been able to execute in the midst of a global pandemic! As Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, I applaud our students, faculty, and staff on their enterprising efforts and encourage us all to persist to demonstrate the excellence in academics at NSU. Lastly, thank you to the committee for their efforts in organizing this week’s events. Please attend the mid-day forums on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and the keynote on Thursday @ 12:30pm featuring Mr. Clayton P. Turner, the first African American director of NASA Langley Research.




DoVeanna S. Fulton, PhD



Committee Welcome

Thank you for participating in RISE 2021, NSU’s Undergraduate and Graduate Research Innovation Symposium and Exhibition!

The committee appreciates the support, efforts, and contributions of our students, faculty, administration, and staff. We wish to thank Provost Fulton and the Office of Academic Affairs, the Lyman Beecher Brooks Library, the Office of Communications and Marketing, and all of the faculty, administration, and staff mentors and judges.

We encourage all to view the various presentations and participate (by voting) in the 3-Minute Thesis Exhibition featuring Graduate Students!

This conference is a small sampling of the excellence in learning, research, scholarship and creativity of our students at NSU. In spite of a global pandemic and a mix of hybrid, virtual, remote and in-person learning, our students persist to generate knowledge, engage in discovery and share their research.

Behold, the Green and Gold!




RISE ‘21 Committee

Dr. Khadijah O. Miller, Interim Dean, Robert C. Nusbaum Honors College & Committee Chair

Dr. Ernestine A. W. Duncan, Professor of Psychology, College of Liberal Arts

Dr. Desi Hacker, Assistant Dean, School of Graduate Studies and Research 

Dr. Aliecia McClain, Director, DNIMAS and Professor of Chemistry, College of Science, Engineering & Technology

Dr. Cynthia S. Nicholson, Assistant Professor of Secondary Education and Leadership, School of Education

Ms. Cyanna Rodney-Hill, Interim Media Center Manager, Lyman Beecher Brooks Library

Mrs. Mia Smith, General Coordinator, RCN Honors College  

Mrs. Josephine B. Stanley-Brown, Instructor, School of Business

Dr. Sandra Williamson-Ashe, Associate Professor of Social Work, Ethelyn R. Strong School of Social Work









Three Minute Thesis Competition

As part of the 2021 Research and Innovation Symposium and Exhibition (R.I.S.E.) at Norfolk State University, the Office of Graduate Studies presents three outstanding graduate students competing for your votes. Each student created a Three-Minute Thesis (3MT) video to demonstrate their skills and the importance of research communications. Click here to view their videos and "like" your favorite to vote for it to win the People's Choice Award. The presenter with the most likes will receive a prize.

RISE 2021 Presentations

Graduate Students

#GR100 Kwesi Elliot

#GR101 Thomas Chapman III

#GR102 Somto Azike

#GR103 Mykel Walton

#GR200 Pema Yangzom

#GR202 Marnee McClellan

#GR203 Jonathan Valenzuela

#GR204 Malik Gladden

GE201 Nelson Whitaker

RISE 2021 Submissions

Undergraduate Submissions

#RP100 Tamia Carter

#RP101 Ashley Floyd

#RP102 Daminica Tynes

#RP103 Kory Wells

#RP104 Djomeni Djonkam

#RP105 Jailyn Battle

#RP106 Andrew Howe

#RP107 Sage Brown

#RP109 Lillian Richardson

#RP110 Tekiyah Robinson

#RP111 Alexis Davis

#RP112 Destiny Childress

#RGP100 LeShara Stinson, Bria Williams, Aerial Jones, Kenaysai Love

#RGP101 Yahzell Bolden, Breasia Eanes-Ford, Najae Hickman, & Tanasia Ross

#RGP103 Deyla Moore

#RGP104 Tricia Camaya

#RGP105 Brianna Charity

#RGP106 Brittany Charity

#RGP107 Gianna Marie Locker

#RO100 Morgan Bond

#RO102 Zaid Abdul-Kaudeyr

#RO103 Monique Christian

#RO104 Aaliyah Ruffin

#RO105 Skylar Groves

#RGO100 Domonique Sumler

#RGO101 Victoria T. Olatunbosun

#RGO102 Jensyn Carr

#RGO103 Alicia Mitchell

#IP100 Noah Wiggins

#IP101 Kennedy Cameron

#IP102 Kerris Cameron

#IP103 Niya Grant