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Psychology trio receives top awards at Randy Kobes Poster Symposium

Wed. Oct. 11, 2023

The Psychology Department congratulates a trio of our students who received the top three awards at the 18th annual Randy Kobes Undergraduate Research Symposium.

Adiam Negash (Psychology BAH, 2023), Alina Sanina (BAH degree in progress), and Alyssa Wright (Psychology BAH, 2022) presented stellar posters that feature STEM research in the area of cognitive neuroscience.

Adiam NegashAdiam received the top prize for her poster on Phonological Processing During Reading Development. During her Honours thesis and as a Research Assistant, Adiam worked with Dr. Amy Desroches, Principal Investigator of the UW Reading Lab, which offers research opportunities and access to scientific equipment (such as to the EEG lab to measure event related potential) to study child language acquisition and  reading development. Adiam states that “As a child who was a struggling reader, I understand the difficulty of trying to grasp material that is seemingly second nature to others. I desire to uncover why these struggles can occur and hopefully create changes in how reading education is delivered to struggling readers.” 

Alina SaninaAlina earned second prize for her poster on Space in the Brain: Does Mental Arithmetic Require Mental Mapping? Psychology professors Drs Stephanie Budgen and Bruce Bolster mentored Alina in her research. Alina came to Canada from Ukraine in 2016, and as an undergraduate student, she became fascinated with the field of cognitive neuroscience. She hopes that she will continue her studies in the field of clinical neuropsychology with a focus on researching populations of older adults with Alzheimer’s and Dementia diagnoses. She entered the Randy Kobes competition to “overcome my fear of public speaking” and the poster competition was a perfect venue to practice her presentation skills in her second language of English. She was pleased that the audience “welcomed me with the most wonderful response and feedback.”

Alyssa WrightAlyssa placed third for her poster on Jumping into Order: Can a Number Line Game Improve Children’s Math Knowledge? Alyssa comments that the pandemic and online learning “posed a significant setback for my [Honours] thesis in which we were unable to conduct research in person.” However, she thrived with the return to in-person learning with “exceptional psychology professors” and hand’s-on research mentorship with Dr. Stephanie Bugden in the UW Numeracy Lab. Alyssa is grateful for continued departmental research opportunities in the area of improving children’s mathematical skills and sharing this research with others at the Randy Kobes Symposium. Alyssa competed in the Randy Kobes Symposium because “it offers a fantastic platform to highlight undergraduate research and explore the exciting research currently happening at the University of Winnipeg.” In the future, Alyssa hopes “to apply this research and make meaningful impact in educational institutions.”