Jonassie Zamor, a senior majoring in biology, was the winner of the Fall 2019 Honors Thesis Pitch at Georgia State University.
Zamor’s presenation, “Brain mechanisms that influence the ability of morphine to reduce pain in the elderly,” examined morphine’s interaction with pain receptors in older adults and how that interaction affected the drug’s efficacy. Zamor, whose grandmother has been diagnosed with dementia, said the experience drew her to research in this topic. Her faculty sponsor is Anne Murphy, an associate professor in the College of Arts & Sciences’ Neuroscience Institute whose research focuses on the impact of sex and age on pain and opiate responsiveness.
The Honors Thesis Pitch encourages undergraduate honors students to articulate their research projects in a relatable and engaging way in just three minutes or less. The competition is hosted each semester by the Honors College at Georgia State and is co-sponsored by the Center for the Advancement of Students and Alumni (CASA).
The second place winner of the Honors Thesis Pitch was senior anthropology major Savannah Setter whose presentation was titled “‘I wear makeup for me’: Interpreting and internalizing feminist makeup narratives.” Setter’s faculty sponsor is Faidra Papavasiliou, a senior lecturer in the Department of Anthropology.
The People’s Choice award, which was decided based on the overall audience vote, went to Bianca Robinson, a senior majoring in biology, for her presentation “You’re stressing me out. Measuring the stress response in convict cichlid fish.” Robinson’s faculty sponsor is Edmund Rodgers, a co-instructor in the Department of Biology’s Behavioral Endocrinology Lab.
The Fall 2019 event was held Dec. 5 at Centennial Hall. A three-member panel of expert university faculty and staff judged the speakers. First place included a monetary award of $150; second place was $75; and the CASA-sponsored People’s Choice award was $50.
The full roster of presenters included:
- Connor McMillan, political science: “Edible ecology: Green space social networks as a tool for community building”
- Lena Lear, nutrition science: “Can phytochemicals from raspberries reduce kidney cell damage?”
- Haley Dourron, psychology: “Mapping the mind: Understanding the differences between schizophrenia & psychedelic states”
- Kali Malham, neuroscience: “Effect of time of day on drug action and social behavior”
- Bianca Robinson, biology: “You’re stressing me out. Measuring the stress response in convict cichlid fish”
- Gautum Ajay, psychology: “The relationship between schizotypal personality style and fear inducing stimuli”
- Foster Lewis, media entrepreneurship: “Music and humans: Who is in charge?”
- Jacob Holmes, neuroscience: “What mouse brains can tell us about detecting changes in our environment”
- Jonassie Zamor, biology: “Brain mechanisms that influence the ability of morphine to reduce pain in the elderly”
- Gillian Gilbert-Wason, environmental science: “Monitoring storm resilience in elkhorn coral in the U.S. Virgin Islands”
- Savannah Setter, anthropology: “‘I wear makeup for me’: Interpreting and internalizing feminist makeup narratives”