The second and third place winners of the 2019 student symposium at SNC Tahoe stand proudly with their awards.
Students from every department came together to share their work at the annual Student Symposium, held on May 9th.

2019 Student Symposium

“To my fellow students, faculty, provost, and all that were involved, keep being you and bringing your lens to the world. Without innovation we remain stagnant. Without the artistic mindset we lose everything worth seeing. You are all worth seeing! Congratulations all!”

– Jaime Edwards, second place winner.

The student symposium on May 9th was the culminating student event of the academic year. It brought together the very best student research projects and presentations from each department in a showcase for active learning. The judges chose 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners, and the audience voted for the People’s Choice Award. The cash pool for the event totaled $5,000.

2019 Winners:

1st place – $2,500 – Ryan McCarthy (Fine Arts & ODAL): I am You, You are Me.

Student symposium winner Ryan McCarthy shares the artist statement for his art project I Am You. You Are Me.“To me, the most beautiful moments in this world are the ordinary and the uncanny. A visual representation of our lives would show a series of trivial mundane moments forming a flat wave form punctuated by the occasional high or low. These are the moments I wish to capture and celebrate. Many people only measure their lives by exciting experiences or moments of pivotal changes, but I aim to measure my life by the extraordinary ordinary moments where I can revel in the bliss of existence at the intersection of bizarre and awkward.”

2nd place – $1,200 – Jaime Edwards (New Media Journalism): White Town: A Collection of Poetry and Photography Using Colors to Portray Emotions.

“I put together a collection of my poetry and photography and used color psychology research to portray deep emotions I have throughout each poem.This project reflected me in so many ways and was the most passion filled piece of work I have created during my college career. To be recognized and receive such incredible feedback from such successful faculty and professors is everything and more.”

3rd place – $650 – Rhett Gause (Digital Arts & Journalism): Just Passing Through: A Collection of Short Stories, Songs, and Illustrations from the People and Places We Have Known.

“I want to tell real stories, that I have collected, in a more cinematic way by providing rich details that hopefully describe a beauty that is based on utility—like an overgrown barn that peeks through the mist on a rainy day on some coastal California road, an old beat up Toyota flatbed full of surfboards, or the ragged sun baked hat of a climbing cowboy that lives down in the volcanic tablelands. These visualizations are pure and indispensable. They capture neither trends nor fleeting moments, but the values of a place and the things, and people, that last.”

All three winners are in the Interdisciplinary Studies program.

People’s Choice Award – $650 – 2019 Valedictorian Eva Jazbec (Biology & Environmental Science) – A Longitudinal Retrospective Analysis of ME/CFS Patients Enrolled in Ampligen (Rintatolimod) 511 Open Label Trial From 2011-2019 at Sierra Internal Medicine.

Interdisciplinary Studies student Rhett Gause won third place at the 2019 student symposium at SNC Tahoe.Rhett Gause
Student symposium winner Ryan McCarthy stands next to his exhibit I am You. You are Me.Ryan McCarthy
Interdisciplinary Studies student Jaime Edwards shares her project White Town at the 2019 student symposium at SNC Tahoe.Jaime Edwards

The other student presenters included:


Samantha Conaway – Party Pals
Kyle Hogan-Barnedt – Basecamp Lodge
Jake Shields – Auto Appoint
Samir Somji – Nevada Crest

Fine Arts:

Lillian Bennett – Isolated Holm
Anna Bunnell – Unsettled Residue
and Ryan McCarthy with his winning project, I am You, You are Me.


Christian Delli Veneri – Is Dilution Really the Solution to Pollution? A Look into LNT Practices on a Wild and Scenic River
James Kohagen – Distribution and Population of Signal Crayfish (Pacifastacus leniusculus)
as well as Eva Jazbec, winner of the people’s choice award.

Humanities & Interdisciplinary Studies:

Grant Diedrich – The Missing Links
Vanessa Dunn – The Climate Surrounding Global Education
Nicholas R. Kozeniesky – The Impact of Visible Tattoos on Candidate Hire-ability
David I.K. Moniz-Lewis – Isochronic Tunes: The Impact of Sound on Brainwave Entertainment and Stress
Ryland West – White Picket Fence
as well as second place winner Jaime Edwards, and third place winner Rhett Gause.

The judges for the event were Jonathan Brieter, Richard Gire, Anza Jarschke, Mary Kenny, Robert King, June Saraceno, Chuck Levitan, Beth Taliaferro Bouchard, and Lara Schott.