Some of the state’s best graduate students competed in the second annual Statewide Graduate Research Symposium Friday and University of Central Florida students took some of the top honors in the arts and humanities, education, physical sciences research and social sciences categories.

The symposium, hosted at UCF this year on behalf of the Florida Council of Graduate Deans, aims to promote the important role graduate education plays in driving new knowledge and the economy in Florida and beyond.

Among the research topics showcased through poster presentations this year were: promoting cognitive abilities of the elderly through game play; the role of feasting then fasting on cells and their resilience to stress and identifying new agents that may provide treatment options for schizophrenia and related psychotic illnesses.

“It was such an honor to host such a prestigious research event and we are very proud of our graduate students at UCF who went on to place in four of the eight categories,” said College of Graduate Studies Dean and Vice Provost C. Ross Hinkle, PhD. “These awards are a reflection of the outstanding research and faculty mentoring at UCF.”

Those who participated in the event had already earned top marks in their categories at their own university competitions. The event gave students the chance to earn top honors at the state level for their research work, and it gave them opportunities to network and discuss possible research collaborations with other students and faculty across the state.


Graduate students representing nine universities from across Florida participated. UCF had 15 students compete. First and second place winners were awarded in each of the eight categories: Arts and Humanities, Biological Sciences, Education, Engineering, Health Sciences, Life Sciences, Physical Sciences, and Social Sciences.

UCF President John C. Hitt and Graduate Studies Dean and Vice Provost Ross Hinkle addressed the participants during a formal ceremony following the judging session Friday.