May 11, 2020 Students Demonstrate Success in Research in Competition, Exhibition

In spring 2020, students presented impressive research and received well deserved recognition and awards in the UT Undergraduate Research Students’ Association Research Symposium and the Exhibition of Undergraduate Research and Creative Achievement (EURēCA).

Jonathan Winfiele, 5th-year Architecture student, and Zachary Orig, 4th-year Architecture student, were two of just 37 students chosen from across UT Knoxville to present their undergraduate research projects in April as part of the URSA Research Symposium.

graphic image of URSA information and students

URSA is a student organization that is dedicated to expanding access to undergraduate research at UT. The organization connects faculty with students seeking undergraduate research positions, promotes undergraduate research and creates an undergraduate research culture.

Students who participate in this symposium gain experience presenting and discussing their research with peers. Winfiele and Orig hoped to spark dialogue with others outside the college about design and its role in everyday processes.

Orig’s research, “Mapping Food and Infrastructure in Early Medieval Rome: A Critical Analysis of the Fourth-Century Forum Boarium,” was focused within historical Roman urban topography and confronted the connections between food and infrastructure.

“Participating in the Undergraduate Research Symposium gave me insight into how the world of research operates, both as a discipline within architecture and outside of it,” Orig said. “I think it’s important as members of the UTK community to continue engaging other colleges beyond our own because really interesting things can begin to happen when we are able to become inspired by the highly non-architectural.”

Winfiele’s project, “Architecture’s Narratives,” is a thesis set at the intersection of narrative and architecture that investigated ways of immersive experiences through architecture storytelling and their effects on the built environment.

graphic image with eureca information

Students also excelled at EURēCA, an annual event held by the Office of Undergraduate Research that showcases students’ research and creative activities in collaboration with faculty mentors. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s event was held virtually on April 13. Judges from our college were Mark DeKay, David Matthews, Mark Stanley, Liz Teston and Kathy Wheeler.

In the College of Architecture and Design, two first-place honors went to Alice Irizarry, Elizabeth Ford and Emily Lavoll, and their faculty mentor, Katherine Ambroziak, for their project titled, “Designing for Intentional Communal Residence in Rural Haiti” and to Alayna Davis, Cole Field, Henry Burgin and Marieli Valencia, and faculty mentor, Sarah Lowe, for the project, “Tinnitus Animated Video Project for UTK Audiology & Speech Pathology.”

Second-place awards were earned by two teams: Joanna Martin, Grace Shoffner and Annabel Greenberg, and faculty mentor, Katherine Ambroziak, for their project, “BEACON Eco-Village” and Christina Sok, Taylor Bogle, Peter Kramar and Jonathan Woods, and faculty mentor, Cary Staples, with their project, “The Social Butterfly Project.”

Two third-place honors went to Zachary Orig and faculty mentor, Gregor A. Kalas, with his project, “Mapping Food and Infrastructure in Early Medieval Rome: A Critical Analysis of the Fourth Century Forum Boarium,” and to John Sanders and his faculty mentor, Cary Staples, with his project, “Metamorphosis: A Butterfly Garden Experience.”

Jonathan Winfiele, Alexandra Ress and Delaney Powell received an Award of Merit in this year’s EURēCA.

Of the 88 students who won awards in their individual colleges, 28 students went on to receive gold, silver and bronze overall awards from the Office of Undergraduate Research. The team of Alayna Davis, Cole Field, Henry Burgin and Marieli Valencia, students in the School of Design, and faculty mentor, Sarah Lowe, received a gold award for their project, “Tinnitus Animated Video Project for UTK Audiology & Speech Pathology.”

Check out all EURēCA presenters’ posters. And see all award-winning entries. Plus watch the virtual awards ceremony.

Congratulations to all students and appreciation to the faculty mentors.