Students show off creative projects

Reprinted with permission of the News-Register. Find more News-Register stories about Linfield College here.

Student symposiumBy Starla Pointer • Staff Writer • 

Dozens of Linfield College students displayed their projects Friday in the school’s 25th annual Celebration of Scholarship and Creative Achievement.

The day-long symposium featured exhibits, performances and talks by students in various departments, from anthropology to the sciences and music to religious studies.

The subjects themselves ranged from a comparison of urban and rural soils to a look at the benefits of sleep during hospitalization to an examinization of sexism in the House of Representatives. Some students showed their photo and art skills, while others focused on speeches and posters summarizing their studies.

Economics major Ehren Cahill of McMinnville paired up with Mikayla Frei to investigate factors affecting bar exam passage by law school graduates. They considered academic ability, demographics, curriculum and the rank of the schools from which the graduated.

Mikalee Rubado was among four students joining Professor Janet Peterson on a project titled, “The Effects of Music Genre on Cycing Performance and Perceived Exertion.”

Giselle Naranjo of Dayton was among business majors examining collaborative decision making. As a team, they studied “Outcomes in a Competitive, Simulated Industry Environment.”

During oral presentations, Andrew Hampson discussed something that’s more than a concept for him — his second business venture, a Silicon Valley start-up called Vaulytics.

When he was 16, he founded a landscaping business in his home state of Colorado. He said he enjoyed himself and learned a lot about providing a service valuable to users.

More recently, the Linfield senior teamed with Jordan Alviso to found a firm dedicated to creating online retail platforms for fashion designers. They’ve since expanded into ways to display data visually, regardless of field.

Hampson, who described himself as an extrovert, is the public face of the company. He markets its services and networks with potential customers and supporters. His partner covers the technical side.

He termed vision, motivation and perseverance the keys to success — those and finding the right partner or team to work with.

Hampson and Alviso were introduced by a mutual friend. He said they quickly found they shared a passion for design, business and technology.

The Linfield senior advised other budding entrepreneurs to be open to taking on partners and seizing opportunities.

“There’s no magic formula,” he said. “Follow your passions, know what you like and the rest will happen naturally.”

Before his presentation, Hampson said he’d been looking forward to speaking to an audience at Friday’s symposium. “It’s really important to share knowledge,” he said.

Another of Friday’s presenters explained a project that she’s been involved with for three years, since she first came to Linfield. Junior Agatha Ulibarri has been working with Professor Michael Crosser on “Measuring the Effects of a Liquid Engivornment on Graphene Biotransistors.”

Graphene, which is related to the better-known substance graphite, features a single layer of carbon atoms, Ulibarri said. That makes is able to react very quickly to electromagnetic changes.

She said the medium enables scientists to measure “really fine differences of the electrical field,” down to a single neuron firing in the brain.

Her project involves attempts to make graphene even more measurable by immersing it in liquids of different levels of salinity. “It’s super interesting,” she said.

Like Hampson and other Linfield students, Ulibarri said that presenting at the symposium was a valuable experience. She also submitted her research at a science conference in November.

Talking to laypeople is just as valuable, if not more, than to scientists, she said. “By explaining to people who don’t know about this already, I learn,” she said.