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Lander Students Earn Top Honors at Upstate Research Symposium

Ayla Edmiston’s presentation on her research at the Upstate Research Symposium in Spartanburg received a first place award. Contributed Photo

Two Honors College seniors at Lander University earned first place awards at the 19th annual South Carolina Upstate Research Symposium.

Ayla Edmiston, of Cayce, was awarded first place for her oral research presentation, “Predictors of Variation in the Secondary Metabolites of Usnea Strigose,” in the biology-ecology division of the competition. Her study examined lichens growing throughout the Upstate region of the Palmetto State. Edmiston plans to pursue a doctoral program of study in biology.

Edmiston and her research partner, biology senior Jordan Cannon, of Chapin, won first place for this study at the recent TriBeta Conference in Winston-Salem. 

A study on the value of vertical jumping for athletic warmups earned first place honors in the exercise science division for research posters for Reagan Hunter, of Fort Mill. Her research poster was titled “The Effects of a Warmup Protocol Involving the Nordic Hamstring Exercise on Vertical Squat Jump Performance and Peak Muscular Activation.”

A research poster on athletes and exercise earned first place honors for Reagan Hunter. Contributed Photo

Hunter will attend the University of South Florida in the fall to pursue a doctorate in physical therapy.

“It’s essential for our students to present at conferences beyond Lander. They are able to see how their knowledge and experience stack up against students at other universities – and they stack up really, really well,” said Dr. Lillian Craton, director of Lander’s Honors College. “Before our students go out and compete for jobs and spots in graduate school, they have these amazing opportunities to recognize and expand their own expertise.”

The symposium, which drew more than 300 attendees, was held at USC Upstate in Spartanburg.