ATLANTA—Nitheyaa Shree, a senior neuroscience major, is the winner of the Spring 2021 Honors Thesis Pitch at Georgia State University.
Shree’s presentation, “Are You Flexible?: Let’s Talk About Reversal Learning Behaviors,” highlighted her undergraduate research in the Mabb Lab at Georgia State. Under the guidance of Angela Mabb, assistant professor of neuroscience, Shree studied the role that a specific protein, known as ARC, plays in learning behaviors in the aging brain.
“This is important because modulation of the levels of this protein—ARC—has been shown to be implicated in several neurological disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia, autism, fragile X syndrome and even some mood disorders, such as depression” Shree said. “So, it’s very important for us to understand the role of ARC degradation in some of these processes.”
Second place went to Davis Homrich, a senior majoring in the interdisciplinary studies of philosophy, politics and economics, for his presentation, “Defensive Vandalism and the Samaritan Duty: When Uncivil Disobedience is Required.” Homrich’s faculty mentor is Andrew I. Cohen, associate professor of philosophy.
A’zure Latimer, a senior majoring in psychology, received the People’s Choice Award for her presentation, “‘Who You Callin’ ‘Respectable?’” Her faculty mentor is Ciara Smalls Glover, associate professor of African-American studies and psychology.
The Honors Thesis Pitch is a contest, challenging undergraduate students to articulate their research projects in a compelling and engaging way in just three minutes or less. The competition is hosted each semester by the Honors College at Georgia State, and this spring, was co-sponsored by the Center for the Advancement of Students and Alumni and the Georgia State Alumni Association.
The pitch was broadcast live on April 21 on the Alumni Association’s and Honors College’s Facebook pages. Prior to the competition, student collaborated with faculty, staff or alumni coaches who helped them prepare a compelling, live oration.
An expert panel of judges—Honors College Librarian Jose Rodriguez Class; Hester Furey, assistant professor of English at Perimeter College; Jatisha Marsh, a Georgia State alumna and human capital management manager for the DeKalb County School District; and Catherine Neiner, director of University Career Services—evaluated the presentations and awarded the $150 first place and $75 second place awards. The live audience voted by text to determine the winner of the $50 People’s Choice Award.
Other Spring 2021 Thesis Pitch presenters included:
- Grace Dalton, English
“Gris-Gris and Ghosts: Trauma and Spirituality in Sing, Unburied, Sing”
Faculty Mentor: Jay Rajiva
- Myah Vogt, Applied Linguistics and Spanish
“Monkey Math: Discrimination of Proportions by Capuchin and Rhesus Monkeys”
Faculty Mentor: Michael Beran
- Lynda Waku Kouomou, Chemistry
“Photodynamic Therapy: Exploring A New Approach to Cancer Treatment”
Faculty Mentor: Kathryn B. Grant
Did you know?
The Honors Thesis Pitch is the culminating event for students across the university who are writing an Honors Thesis. Any Georgia State undergraduate with a qualifying GPA can apply to write an Honors Thesis. An Honors Thesis can come from a class project, study abroad or field studies—or they can come from an entirely fresh idea. To learn more, check out our website and contact Research Program Coordinator Emily Buis using this form.