Student standing in front of research poster

Alex Joseph

On the morning of November 30th, 11 Fowler School of Engineering (FSE) students gathered their glossy poster boards and donned business attire in preparation for the Fall 2022 Student Scholar Symposium. As part of the event, the students showcased the culmination of several months of groundbreaking scientific scholarship, presenting their research process and findings to the greater Chapman community. 

The biannual Student Scholar Symposium is hosted and sponsored by the Center for Undergraduate Excellence (CUE), which aims to empower students on their journeys toward a variety of creative endeavors. Through CUE’s support, the symposium provides a plethora of valuable opportunities for all undergraduate students.

“Participating in the symposium sets students apart for multiple reasons,” explained Dr. Julye Bidmead, Director of CUE. “Anyone who participates in the symposium can have their research collected in the digital commons. Additionally, professors who come to the event can provide good feedback on what [students] can do next.”

Throughout the session, students and professors roamed the Beckman Hall conference room, asking questions about the students’ research, their purpose, and what they gained from the experience. Alex Joseph (Computer Science, ‘23) and Kevan Parang (Computer Science, ‘24), two of FSE’s participating symposium scholars, offered their thoughts on the process.

Student in front of research

Kevan Parang

“I started this research around February or so, and aside from technical difficulties, there weren’t really any issues with conducting it,” said Joseph. His scholarship—conducted over a 50-day anaerobic laboratory incubation period—focused on identifying and tracking a subset of compounds functioning as organic electron acceptors in northern peatland soils.

Parang, whose work centered the use of eye-tracking technology to better understand relationships between image filters and the interference processing abilities of neurodiverse persons, spoke to a challenge he overcame throughout the course of his research: “There were a few issues with running through the technology, but there weren’t necessarily any other issues that stopped me from finishing my project.”

As the event came to a close, the FSE symposium scholars left with both an abundance of new ideas to explore and a sense of pride in what they had accomplished.

“On presentation day, the students get so excited about all the people who come and talk to them about their research and realize what a great experience it was. It gives students an opportunity to really shine; they get to have all of their creativity on a poster and show that they’re the expert,” said Bidmead. “I really like when students say they can’t wait to do it again.”

We congratulate this semester’s symposium scholars and celebrate their inspiring hard work and inquiry coming to fruition!


Session 1 Scholars:

Audrey Bichelmier and Kayla Anderson with Yuki Chen
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Franceli L. Cibrian
Research: Designing Haptic Interfaces to Uncover Gestural Patterns in Children

Samuel Bernsen, Andrew Wells, Ethan Slade, Robert Alexander, and Daniel Dinh
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Maryam Etezadbrojerdi
Research: Radar Signal Analysis & Student Attentiveness

Two students standing in front of research poster

Yuki Chen (left) with Audrey Bichelmeir (right)


Two students standing in front of research poster

Samuel Bernsen (left) with Daniel Dinh (right)

Session 2 Scholars:

Alex Joseph
Faculty Advisors: Dr. Jason Keller and Dr. Cassandra Zalman
Research: Towards a Metabolomic Approach for Understanding Organic Electron Acceptors in Northern Peatland Soils

Kevan Parang
Faculty Advisor: Dr. LouAnne Boyd
Research: Applying a Filter Reduces Local Interface Within the Neurodiverse Population

Michael Efseaff and Kevin Wynne
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Mark Harrison
Research: Utilizing Inverse Design to Create Plasmonic Waveguide Devices

Two students at Scholar Sympiosium

Michael Efseaff (left) with Kyle Wynne (right)


CUE hosts their Scholar Symposium in the Fall and Spring, each with different presenters and research proposals. Students interested in getting involved with presenting at the Spring 2023 Scholar Symposium can get a head start by visiting the CUE’s Scholar Symposium Website for upcoming details. For further questions, please contact

Read all about the Fall 2022 Scholar Symposium Abstracts

Visual Aid Courtesy of Carlos Vergara, Adena Hamlin, and Owen Agbayani