Public health students excel at annual Denman Undergraduate Research Forum

Seven undergraduate students from the College of Public Health presented their thesis research on March 29 at the Denman Undergraduate Research Forum held at OSU, with two students receiving awards for their research.

Montgomry Burgoon, Katherine Friedman, Lea Ghastine, Sarah Jossart, Rana Khalil, Allison Porter and Mariah Wood presented their research and were graded by judges on factors such as impact of visual content, narrative and presentation skills.

Of these participants, Porter took first place and Burgoon took second place in the Public Health and Applied Health Sciences category.

Porter’s research focused on food insecurity in central Ohio. She conducted the research by studying primary caregivers of children at two family medicine clinics in Franklin county to find how they coped with food insecurity and what factors make up the decisions and lifestyles of those who do not have the means to feed themselves or their dependents.

“I enjoyed preparing for the Denman because it was exciting to see all the hard work I had put in all year culminate into a poster that I was proud to present,” Porter said. “There were setbacks with my research along the way, but I had a uniquely dedicated group that advised me including College of Public Health faculty, Dr. Gail Kaye, and Dr. Melissa Thomas and Erin Krafka, MPH.”

Burgoon’s research focused on adolescent boys’ likelihood of exposure to tobacco retail marketing. According to data from the Buckeye Teen Health Study, she concluded that the likelihood is significantly impacted by age, race, ethnicity, neighborhood and ever-use of tobacco.

“I have been working on this project since last year with my advisor, Dr. Amy Ferketich, and several others as my Honors Research Thesis,” Burgoon said. “The entire team was very helpful in giving me feedback on my poster and how to present my research -- it was actually quite fun. Now that the Denman is over I look forward to completing my thesis.”

The Denman Undergraduate Research Forum, which has been hosted annually for 22 years at The Ohio State University, is coordinated by the Undergraduate Research Office.

The forum allows undergraduate students to showcase their research and creative ideas to members of Ohio State’s academic community and to the general public.

Presenters organize their research onto a poster and present the information throughout the day. Judges evaluate the quality and content of the research, and winners are presented with awards at the ceremony after the forum.

“Now that the Denman is over, it is a relief to have my first presentation experience behind me and I am excited for future research experiences,” Porter said. “It was inspiring to see all the different projects at the forum and I look forward to seeing what my peers from this amazing Ohio State Community achieve in the future.”


About The Ohio State University College of Public Health

The Ohio State University College of Public Health is a leader in educating students, creating new knowledge through research, and improving the livelihoods and well-being of people in Ohio and beyond.  The College’s divisions include biostatistics, environmental health sciences, epidemiology, health behavior and health promotion, and health services management and policy.   It is ranked 23rd among all colleges of public health in the U.S. by U.S. News and World Report, and also includes the top 7-ranked MHA degree program.  The College provides leadership and expertise for Ohio and the world through its Center for Health Outcomes, Policy and Evaluation Studies (HOPES), Center for Public Health Practice (CPHP), and Center for the Advancement of Tobacco Science (CATS).