2023 Mont Alto Academic Festival winners announced

A faculty member stands in the middle of a crowd with a microphone

Mike Doncheski, chief academic officer, stands in the middle of a crowded room delivering opening remarks for the 2023 Academic Festival. Credit: Penn State. Creative Commons

Credit: Penn State

MONT ALTO, Pa. -- Exhibits, posters and interactive displays were abundant at last week's Academic Festival, held on Friday, April 21.

Seventy-four student presenters shared 26 different information exhibits, research posters and oral presentations. More than 160 faculty, staff and guests swarmed the Multipurpose Activity Center to learn about the participants' projects throughout the day.

Fifteen judges were present at the event to review projects. With top-quality projects, they struggled to pick final winners, ultimately announcing several ties. Winners of the festival were granted $1,300 or more in prizes.

The 2023 event was made possible thanks to the generous support from the Owls Club, Student Activity Fee, Penn State Mont Alto Alumni Society and Penn State Mont Alto faculty and staff.

Thank you to the organizers who spent months planning the festival, to the faculty who mentored and worked with students on their undergraduate projects, to the folks in physical plant who helped with the setup, to Housing and Food Services for the refreshments, and to everyone who attended.

Student projects are available to view online at ScholarSphere.

2023 Winners:

Informational Exhibits

  • Third place: "Physics of Cornhole" - Grace Banfe, Connor Houston, Aleesha Cramer, Camryn Yeager     
  • Second place: "Interactive Entertainment: A Peek into the World of Twitch" - Austin Noll    
  • First place: "The Penn State Mont Alto Virtual Tour" - Heston Hanafy Harvey, Jonathan Wright, Michael Liam Scott, Noah Edward Mulka, Jon Paolo Sadsad Dimaculangan    

Research Projects

  • Third place: "Decreasing Contamination of Blood Cultures in the Emergency Room" - Caitlyn King, Mackenzie Leigh Casey, Robby McDonald, Amanda Krug
  • Second place: "Maternal Mortality in African American Women" - Helena Johnson
  • First place: "Psychological Safety and a Sense of Belonging" - Rebecca Renae Brown

Oral Presentations

  • Tie: "Mental Health Differences and Motor Vehicle Accidents" - Charli Catherine Nowak
  • Tie: "Nursing Care of Children with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities" - Maegan Aleshire

University Libraries Award for Information Literacy

  • Tie: "Maternal Mortality in African American Women" - Helena Johnson
  • Tie: "A Change in Code: Status with Influence of Family Presence" - Sonia Maria Holter, Jessica A Goshorn, Alvin Chien Liu, Ellison Grace Rush

Sustainability Award

  • First Place: "Nursing Care of Children with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities" - Maegan Aleshire