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This photo shows several dozen people standing on a stage with five women closer to the camera than the others. As a backdrop there's a slide that reads Nutshell Games 2022.

Nutshell Games Set for February 8

The mysteries of personality, the challenges of weight stigma, threats to bees, the safety of self-driving cars, hidden hellbenders, providing access to students with disabilities, battling disease, plover predators, carbon capture and storage: Please join us to learn 90 seconds’ worth of research about 30 very different topics at the Nutshell Games, a fun and fast-paced presentation competition.

    Each of 30 graduate students will have just 90 seconds to explain their research to a public audience and a panel of judges that includes both campus and community members – including a seventh grader from a local school. This year’s Nutshell Games, scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, February 8, at the Moss Arts Center, includes participants from nearly every college on campus. Presented  by Virginia Tech’s Center for Communicating Science, the February 8 event is the seventh such competition held on the Blacksburg campus. 

    This year’s distinguished panel of judges includes 

  • Tony Deibler, administrator of science curriculum, Montgomery County Public Schools  

  • Carlos Evia, professor in the School of Communication at Virginia Tech; associate dean for transdisciplinary initiatives and chief technology officer in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences  

  • Ron Fricker, professor of statistics; vice provost for Faculty Affairs, Virginia Tech  

  • Cana Itchuaqiyaq, assistant professor of Professional and Technical Writing, Virginia Tech  

  • Neda Jantzen, 7th grader, Blacksburg Middle School

  • Phyllis Newbill, associate director of educational networks, Center for Educational Networks and Impacts, Virginia Tech  

  • Aimée Surprenant, dean, Virginia Tech Graduate School  

And the stars of the show, the graduate student presenters, are 

  • Christopher Huynh, Industrial/Organizational Psychology, "What’s Your Story? Measuring Personality by Hearing People’s Stories"

  • Eileen Herbers, Biomedical Engineering and Mechanics, "Measuring the Safety of Automated Driving Systems: How Safe Is Safe Enough?"

  • Kayla Alward, Dairy Science, "Keep Your Cows in the Dark: How Darkness Affects Cows"

  • Erica Howes, Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise, "You Are What You Eat: How Weight Stigma Affects How We Talk About Food in Research"

  • Katelyn Stebbins, Carilion School of Medicine/Translational Biology, Medicine, and Health, "Losing Sight of What’s Important: The Connection Between the Eyes and the Brain"

  • Laura McHenry, Entomology, "Bees Can’t Handle Their Weed(killer)"

  • Zuleka Woods, Public Health, "Oh, Baby! A Community-Based Doula Intervention for Black Birthing People"

  • Emily M. Burns, Higher Education, "Meeting Disabled College Students’ Access Needs"

  • Jennifer J. Phillips, Developmental Science, "Mother Knows Best? Maternal Influences on Early Childhood Emotion Regulation"

  • Naga Nitish Chamala, Aerospace Engineering, "The Problems of Flowing Water"

  • Juselyn Tupik, Biomedical and Veterinary Sciences, "Body vs. Bacteria: How Our Immune System Battles Lyme Disease"

  • Raj Sahu, Computer Science, "Running Critical Softwares Without Getting Hijacked"

  • Holly Funkhouser, Fish and Wildlife Conservation, "Raising Hell(benders): A Quest to Understand the Mysterious Disappearance of a Giant Salamander Species" 

  • Julia Montgomery, Biochemistry, "Using a Computer to Simulate Membranes and Membrane Proteins"

  • Sharon Dorsey, Fish and Wildlife Conservation, "Keep Your Head on a Swivel: Importance of View to See Predators in Plover Nest Site Selection"

  • Sara Yazdi, Macromolecular Science and Engineering, "Mother Earth Provides Us Whatever We Need to Live Well"

  • Mohammad Khorrami, Geosciences, "CO2 Capture and Storage Impact on Our Environment"

  • Benedict Isaac, Electrical Engineering, "5G and Positioning"

  • Nure Tasnina, Computer Science, "Find Drug Combinations to Fight Cancer"

  • Poulomi Dey, Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation, "Carbon Sequestration: What Affects the Path and Fate of Stable Soil Organic Matter Formation?"

  • Bala Priya Shanmugam, Engineering Mechanics, "Meshfree Magnetics"

  • Pratiksha Dhakal, Structural Engineering, "Innovative FRP Retrofit for Deficient Concrete Diaphragms"

  • Chandan Sinha, Mechanical Engineering, "Robot Mechanic in Space"

  • Evangelos Piliouras, Physics, "Quantum Cartoons and Where to Find Them"

  • Emily Ellis, Geosciences, "Observing River Temperatures from Space"

  • Christina McCutchin, Chemistry, "Silica-Macromolecule Interactions: Toward a Rosetta Stone for Biosilicification"

  • Tristan Anderson, Physics, "Quantum Interferometry"

  • Sanjay Vasanth, Aerospace and Ocean Engineering, "Exploring the Connection Between Fluid Flow, Surface Roughness, and Cavitation"

  • Abdullahi Jamiu, Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology, "Designing Therapeutics to Tame Viruses"

    Jennifer R. Bertollo, Clinical Psychology, "On the Road Again: Mobile Autism Assessment in Southwest Virginia"

For more news about the Center for Communicating Science, see our newsletter page, our VTX (News and Stories from Virginia Tech) page, and the "Other News and Media" section of our News page

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    Center for Communicating Science
    230 Grove Lane
    Blacksburg, VA 24061
    (Campus mail code: 0555)

    Director Patty Raun

    Associate Director Carrie Kroehler