News & Media

2017-18 WiSys Quick Pitch Winner Details

Above: UW-Superior student pitches her research to a panel of judges  

Throughout the 2017-18 school year, WiSys hosted more than double the number of Quick Pitch competitions it had hosted only one year prior, reaching nine of the thirteen UW Campuses. These elevator pitch-style competitions provided students with the opportunity to communicate the significance of their research with a streamline and acute approach, as this abridged style of persuasion is essential in swiftly catching the attention of potential benefactors. During the fourth year of competition, winners came from a wide assortment of educational backgrounds, expanding the overall fields of expertise among WiSys affiliates. Below is a detailed account of the winners and their respective research focuses. 

Winners of 2017-18 WiSys Quick Pitch competitions:

UW-Eau Claire, May 1

Social Sciences & Humanities
  • 1st Place: Melanie Zens, Free Willy isn't Free and Neither are You: on the Impossibility of Free Will, $250 prize. Mentor: Matthew Meyer
  • 2nd Place: Kaitlyn Bruggenthies and Josie Zimmel, Research into Evidence-Based Practice Among Practicing Speech Language Pathologists, $125 prize. Mentor: Rebecca Jarzynski
Science & Technology
  • 1st Place: Elizabeth Laskowski, Measuring "Smart" Abilities of Copolymers with PDMAEMA, $250 prize. Mentor: Elizabeth Glogowski
  • 2nd Place: Allison Welter, Analysis of Aribidopsisthaliana Red-Light Response Mutants Identified in a Genetic Enhancer Screen, $125 prize. Mentor: Derek Gingerich

UW Oshkosh, April 26

  • 1st Place: Jeshanah Zolkowski, Mathematicians Inside Your Body, $250 prize. Mentor: Dr. K.L.D. Gunawardena
  • 2nd Place: Madeline Hass, Suicide in the Paradigm of Indefinitely Extended Life, $250 prize. Mentor: Dr. Evan Williams

UW-Parkside, April 18

  • 1st Place: Chelsea Snowden-Smith, Dirty Business: Soil, Carbon, and Campus Life, $250 prize. Mentor: Laura Schulz
  • 2nd Place: Nicole Cuba, The Social Psychological Effects of Living in an urban Milieu, $125 prize. Mentor: Luara Khoury

UW-Platteville, April 25

  • 1st Place: Chelsea Buchanan, The Effects of Styrofoam Fed Mealworms on Fish, $250 prize. Mentor: Becky Doyle-Morin
  • 2nd Place: Samantha Hoerner, Screening for the Causative agent of White Nose Syndrome on Summer Bat Populations in Southwest Wisconsin, $125 prize. Mentor: Jeff Huebschman

UW-River Falls, December 11

Social Sciences & Humanities
  • 1st Place: Rachel Harris, Student Perception on body Image, $250 prize. Mentor: Dr. Melanie Ayres
  • 2nd Place: Kylie Hommerding, When Hockey Meets Art (Hart), $125 prize. Mentor: Dan Paulus
Science & Technology
  • 1st Place: Montana Lins and Rebecca Storlie, Application and Evaluation of a Novel Cervical Artificial Insemination System for Sheep, $250 prize. Mentor: Justin Luther
  • 2nd Place: Nathan Grosse, Effects of Agricultural Pollinator Conservation Practices on Species Richness and Diversity, $125 prize. Mentor: Dr. Veronica Justen

UW-Stevens Point, February 16

  • 1st Place: Jackie Keating and Jarret Byrnes, Effects of Virtual Reality Therapy on Balance, $250 prize. Mentor: Not available
  • 2nd Place: Kasi Bardouche, Kevin Cropsey, and Payton Goetz, A Comparison of the Validity and Reliability Between Three Concussion Baseline Tests, $125 prize.
  • 3rd Place: Bethany Anderson, Brady Schrauth, and Taylor Thur, The Effects of Cool Down Methods on Functional Mobility in Collegiate Hockey Players, $75 prize.

UW-Stevens Point's 3rd place team

UW-Stout, May 2

  • 1st Place: Richard Shipman, Small, Bioactive Protein and Peptide Isolation from Crab Shell Byproducts Using Dialysis and Tricine Gel Separation, $250 prize. Mentor: Jennifer Grant
  • 2nd Place: Cambria Sinclair, Green Fabrics: An Analysis of Top Sustainable Fabrics, $125 prize. Mentor: Tommi Smeltzer

UW-Superior, February 28

  • 1st Place: Viktor Sallhag, Sustainable Society with the Best Recycling System, $250 prize. Mentor: Praopan Pratoomchat
  • 2nd Place: Sydney Kloster, Non-Fiction, Narratives, and Negotiation: A Study of Post Conflict Narratives in Northern Ireland, $125 prize. Mentor: Yvonne Ruthford


  • 1st Place: Sura-attha Umasangtongkul, Mercury Extraction in Fish, $250 prize. Mentor: John Enjnik
  • 2nd Place: Connor Yass, 3D Modeling and Novel Mixed Material Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) to Produce an Anatomically Realistic and Physiologically Functional Larynx and Improve Student Learning, $125 prize. Mentor: Lynn Gilbertson
  • UW-River Falls Quick Pitch participants gathering for a photo following the conclusion of the competition