Abstract Examples

As you will see from reviewing the example below, abstracts vary between disciplines. Your faculty mentor must approve your abstract before you begin the online submission process.


A case study was conducted regarding a collegiate women’s lacrosse player following a traumatic injury to the mandible.  The purpose is to discuss the prevalence and proper treatment of a broken mandible in a sports setting. The first responder under the supervision of a certified athletic trainer performed the on-field evaluation and made the decision to refer to the emergency department for x-rays. The athlete had a bilateral fracture of the mandible that was to be handled surgically. The fractures were managed by putting her in arch bars and maxillomandibular fixation. In doing so the physician attempted to restore normal alignment by lifting the tooth fragments outward. The patient’s diet was modified to accommodate for maxillomandibular fixation.  Two weeks post surgery the patient reported to be progressing well, suffering from no pain, tolerating her diet, and maintaining weight. The arch bars were removed one month post injury. At that time the patient was counseled to see her dentist for a good dental cleaning and to continue with a soft diet for two more weeks. One month later she reported no problems with eating, drinking, or opening her mouth and her teeth alignment was normal. She was cleared to normal activities.

2016 Student Showcase Project
Presenter: Coryann Ledford
Faculty Mentor: Jeremy Hawkins

Allometry of skull morphology, gape size and ingestion performance in the banded watersnake (Nerodia fasciata) feeding on two types of prey

Small body size imposes limitations on the feeding capabilities of juveniles, particularly species that consume their prey whole. It has been hypothesized that juveniles exhibit exceptional performance measures to compensate for their small size, yet investigations of snake feeding ontogeny have not found support for the compensation hypothesis. I tested this hypothesis by comparing maximum gape circumference and ingestion performance in banded watersnakes. I measured several external and osteological dimensions of the head and used Akaike’s Information Criterion to determine which morphological measurements were the strongest predictors of relative gape. All skull measures and maximum gape circumference showed negative allometry compared to snout–vent length (SVL). AIC analysis indicated that both skull length and mandible length were the strongest predictors of gape circumference for both external and osteological measurements. Multiple regression analysis of ingestion performance indicated SVL was negatively correlated with the time and number of pterygoid protractions required to consume fish or frogs, indicating juveniles do not have a higher ingestion performance than adults. While exaggerated morphology in juvenile snakes does not appear to improve ingestion performance, a larger gape should increase the ability of juvenile snakes to consume a wide range of encountered prey shapes and sizes.


A group of four students, majoring in hospitality, have designed and organized an idea for a resort and created its marketing plan. The project allowed the groups to create any type of resort in any area in the Western United States using an unlimited budget. The main point of this project is to emphasize the key topics learned in the classroom and use these tools to develop the sales and marketing plan. The development of this resort, sales and marketing plan includes the full concepts, amenities, size, location, target market, and layout design. This project also includes the full organization of the resort’s operations and management sections. All of this is organized into six phases: Resort Concepts, Resort Offerings, Space Design, Human Resource Management, Operations Management, and Sales and Marketing Plan. This group’s specific resort plans for an underground cavern resort located in Aspen, Colorado. This resort is being designed to be a sophisticated, high class, and adventurous themed resort that will cater specifically to families and couples with established incomes and a desire for a unique resort experience.

2016 Student Showcase Project
Presenters: Marta Kudasik, Cheyenne Sanchez
Faculty Mentor: Britt Mathwich

Table Trackr: A Restaurant Table Management System

The success of a restaurant is often dependent on factors such as the speed, efficiency, and communication of its staff.  However, in the loud and chaotic atmosphere of a restaurant, the disruption of these key factors often results in a less than satisfactory dining experience, leaving staff overwhelmed and customers unhappy.  For this reason, it is important for businesses operating in the food industry to have a powerful system that not only facilitates speed, efficiency, and communication, but enhances them.  This project steps in to fill that role by providing a system for restaurant hosts, waiters/waitresses, and bussers to manage every step of the lifecycle of a table in a restaurant from assigning customers to a seat to notifying waitstaff of a dirty table. Table Trackr provides a functional, aesthetically pleasing, and staff-friendly interface that allows different staff members to access separate parts of the system that are relevant to their specific job. The result of this is a system which will enhance the efficiency of a restaurant's staff and increase the happiness of its customers.

2016 Student Showcase Project
Presenters:  Charles Bisbee, Zachary Brown, Carter Hough
Faculty Mentor: Lori Payne

Until You Find a Home

This creative nonfiction piece is a short memoir that examines the author's experiences with depression and river running. The memoir employs a technique called the braided narrative; the piece is complied of three separate, yet interrelated essays, or threads. This technique is essential in that it allows the author to cover her experiences in Alaska, Florida, and Colorado, over a three-year span of her life, in just fifteen pages. For her presentation, the author will introduce and discuss the major points of each thread. In addition, she will read highlights from the memoir.

Student Showcase 2016 Project
Presenter: Samantha Sams
Faculty Mentor: Jennifer Hancock

The Economic Impact of Community in Relation to Homelessness

Homelessness is an issue that has heavily affected Mesa County and Colorado in general, since the 1800's. From past to current evidence, local shelters, newspaper articles, and statistics, we can discern how the situation has escalated from only affecting a small group, to affecting a significantly larger portion of the community. Several solutions, for example, enlisting the homeless in the military, have been attempted, and others are currently being developed. Research gathered from the 2014-15 year shows that there has been a significant decline in the number of volunteers at shelters and donations received from fundraising and other sources. Specifically, this project will take an economic approach, by focusing on how the financial stability of the community affects homelessness. This method tellingly demonstrates specific details and reveals how a mathematic approach can be applied to help resolve the issue. This framework clearly represents how much help is actually needed, allowing people to more accurately visualize a realistic goal of improving both economic and social problems in our community. With this in mind, we can begin to discern what can be done today in order to reduce homelessness both locally and nationally.

Student Showcase 2016 Project
Presenter: Natalie Gould
Faculty Mentor: Jeremy Jergens

Mary Poppins the Feminist

Some schools of thought like formalism take an ahistoric perspective, ignoring the particular context of, say, a poem, story, play, or film. However, history and representations are intertwined. Each influences and reflects the other. Therefore, to understand the complexity and relevance of a text, one must situate it within its historical context. Working with Stephen Greenblatt’s theory of culture and language, my presentation explores and analyzes the film Mary Poppins. By using a process of praising and blaming, Mary Poppins responds to the debates about gender roles in the 1960s. Given the renewed interest in gender politics, it is an ideal time to look back on Mary Poppins as a product of second wave feminism. While many may view the movie as a simple, feel-good Disney movie, it is more useful to explore the work as both a product and shaper of gender discourse.

Student Showcase 2016 Project
Presenter: Rachel Lind
Faculty Mentor: Barry Laga

& Press

The project will display how letterpress, specifically the resurrection of a single Chandler & Price Letterpress donated by a CMU alumni after it sat unused for 30 years, increases Graphic Design students' knowledge of typography. This project was motivated by the love of letterpress and the quality of education it brings through designing and producing with old world technology. The exhibit shows the restoration of this machine, which is over a century old, and how it slowly came back to life. The presentation will include a video documentary of the restoration, print samples, and a printing demonstration. The presentation aims to increase awareness of this resurging art form and to show how old technologies have a substantial value in the educational space. Anyone unfamiliar with letterpress and how it works in today’s Graphic Design industry, along with anyone who may want to produce something on a letterpress, may be interested in this presentation.

Student Showcase 2016 Project
Presenter: Ryann Gibbens, Nicholas Hill, Michael Murphy
Faculty Mentor: Eli Hall

Importance of Radiographic Evidence in Child Abuse Cases

Every year millions of children become victims of suspected neglect and physical abuse. A significant number of physical abuse cases result in fatalities, prevalently among infants and toddlers. As members of the front line in health-care services, radiologic technologists must be conscience of the signs and possible indicators of child abuse. Inconsistent patient history, misleading account of events, and common fractures such as those to the ribs, classic metaphyseal lesions, and long-bone shaft fractures are typically associated with child abuse. Diagnostic radiography is an important tool in discovering and confirming suspected physical abuse. The radiologic technologist must be proficient in pediatric patient positioning and radiation protection practices to produce images that would provide radiographic proof of physical trauma. The most commonly obtained radiographic study for the clinical evaluation of patients of suspected bony injury is a skeletal survey. This study along with other radiographic modalities provides crucial evidence to support legal action in child abuse cases.

Student Showcase 2016 Project
Presenters: Danielle Graf, Angela Kastrup, Ellie Piffer
Faculty Mentor: Olga Grisak

Effects of Inflammation and/or Heating on Ultrasound Measurements of the Heel

Osteoporosis is a major health concern that is well recognized. Much effort has been put into discovering a non-invasive approach to screening for bone quality and health.  The Achilles Insight Plus is a device that does just that. The aim of this study is to address if the ultrasound readings from the Achilles Insight is sensitive to changes in the surrounding tissue of the heel. In this experiment, 50 subjects will be tested in a resting state. The subjects will then walk for 15 minutes barefoot, and another reading will be taken. A dependent t-test analysis will be used to determine if there is a significant change in the devices readings from before and after exercise. The effects of inflammation and/or heating of the surrounding tissue of the heel should not have an effect on the readings. If we find this to be true, it will help validate the usefulness of the Achilles Insight Device in screening for bone quality.

Custom Fabricated Lightsabers

Anyone born after 1976 knows the iconic glow of a lightsaber. This sci-fi weapon has captured the interest of many, and is the central focus of our endeavor. This project will consist of four high quality lightsabers created from the ground up to the highest standards of durability and aesthetics. Hours of research, design and wiring sketches, Solidworks files, and 3D printing are all steps leading to the actual CNC and manual manufacturing of the products. The 3D printer plays another part in the chassis fabrication for two of these lightsabers just prior to assembly and electronics setups. Properly constructed, they will display movie-like realism while proving that quality lightsabers are a possibility at many different budgets. Light, sound, and vibration feedback allow for a truly immersive dueling experience – one that any fan dreams of. The recent release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens has only furthered the interest in these futuristic weapons, and the need for a better lightsaber has never been more prominent. Through this project, a business model, Vaapad Customs, has been created that promotes lightsabers fabricated with care to customer design.

Student Showcase 2016 Project
Presenters:  Shane Christensen, John Palmer, Rylan Piper
Faculty Mentor:  Bill McCracken

Using Information Theory to Understand Password Complexity

In today’s society, passwords are used to secure our information, and even our money, but how secure are these passwords?  In an age where a stolen or cracked password is all a thief needs to steal your identity, choosing good passwords and protecting them is crucial.  We will explore password security using probability and Information Theory. Information Theory gives us the tools to measure the amount of information in a given password. The more information a password contains, the more secure it is. By using this measure for the strength of a password, we can avoid weak passwords and tighten security on our vital data. 

Reciprocating Lawn Mower

It has been estimated that two-stroke engines, such as those commonly used in lawnmowers, produce the emissions equivalent of ten automobile engines run for the same amount of time. The purpose of this project was to design an improved motorless lawn mower. The lawn mower created was an innovative design that used wheel rotation to create a reciprocating effect between two cutting blades.  A geared transmission was used to optimize the reciprocating motion of the blades. The designers will demonstrate the functionality of their novel, energy-efficient lawn mower and hope to raise awareness regarding eco-friendly alternatives.

Transformation of Western Classical Music with Asian Influence

In recent decades, there has been a great effort by Asian composers to infuse their traditional music and culture into their classical compositions. Their works range from sophisticated arrangements of traditional Asian folk melodies to original works combining traditional musical elements with their mastery of European forms and techniques. A recipient of many prestigious awards and honors such as the Guggenheim Fellowship and the Lili Boulanger Award, composer Chen Yi (born in 1953) combines Chinese and Western traditions and transcends cultural and musical boundaries in her compositions. Originally written for violin and piano in 1999, Romance of Hsiao and Ch'in was transcribed for cello and piano by the composer herself.  The blend of sonority and timber of cello and piano reflects these traditional instruments, Ch’in (Chinese Zither) and Hsiao (bamboo flute) through vibrato and pizzicato. We hope to shine a spotlight on the transformation of Western Classical Music heavily influenced by Asian traditional music featuring Romance of Hsiao and Ch'in (4 mins) and Fisherman’s song (5 mins) by Chen Yi.

 Bringing Gamma Ray Burst Dynamics to the Public Using Python

Gamma Ray Burst dynamics have long been traditionally modeled using the semi-analytic approximations of Sedov (46) and Taylor (41) as well as Blandford and Mckee (76). This work presents the initial results of a Python based code that is being developed to trace the relativistic to non-relativistic evolution of a GRB explosion.  The code aims to remove several approximations made in the afore mentioned semi-analytic formalisms and replace them with numerically calculated and more precise results.  This code, when completed will be released to the open source astronomical community as a tool for GRB research.  Initial results as applied to non-relativistic supernovae will be presented as well as currently occurring modifications to the code.

Professional Conference Example
Theoretical/Computational Physics
Additional Authors: Dr. Brian Morsony, University of Maryland, Dr. Jared Workman, Colorado Mesa University
Well-Being: Have Online Interactions Overpowered Face-to-Face Interactions?

Previous researchers have demonstrated that relationships play a major role in our well-being. Relationships among well-being, interpersonal relations, and social support on social network sites and in face-to-face environments has been a topic of interest. Thus, the purpose of this study is to take a more in depth look at how positive and negative interpersonal interactions in online and face-to-face environments affect a person’s well-being. In the present study, we questioned college students using three questionnaire sections: demographics, the PANSE, and the PERMA Profiler. After closing the survey, there were 352 participants that completed the survey: 248 females, 101 males. The average age of the participants was 22.94 years. Positive emotional support received face-to-face and positive relationships were strongly correlated, r(329) = .461, p < .05. Positive instrumental support received face-to-face and positive relationships were strongly correlated, r(329) = .458, p < .10. In general, face-to-face interactions have a stronger effect on our relationships when compared to online interactions. Overall, it seems like positive emotional support has the biggest effect on our relationships and well-being in any environment.

2016 Student Showcase Project
Presenter: Katherine Richards, Michelle Robertson, Eric Vandenheuvel
Faculty Mentor: Jacob Jones

The Desexualization of the Mother and Eroticism in Anachristina Rossi's "Una Historia Corriente"

The presenter will use a social feminist approach in order to discuss how religious and patriarchal ideas influence a woman's sexual perception of her body, especially in Costa Rican society, which results in the desexualization of the mother figure. In addition, Anacristina Rossi's short story, "Una historia corriente" ("An Ordinary Story") will be used in order to examine the relationship between understanding of the body and the process of self-actualization.

Note: This presentation will be given in Spanish.

Student Showcase 2016 Project
Presenter: Lauren Lipski
Faculty Mentor: Mayela Vallejos-Ramirez

Inclusive Education and Pursuing Passions

As a teacher, it is crucial to encourage students to pursue their passions. Every student is going to be different, and it is important to accept students for their differences and encourage them to use those differences to figure out what they were born to do. All people have different brains and ways of thinking. Teaching in a way that allows for these differences has been proven to be effective. Research on inclusive education shows that students who embrace differences in the classroom are able to find solutions that better themselves quicker than when not in inclusive educational settings. Students with disabilities who are included in the daily lessons with the rest of the class get to experience education the same way and feel included. Encouraging students to take charge of their own learning is a part of inclusive education, and teachers need to help students learn to think for themselves, as well as encourage them to become whoever they wish to be.

Student Showcase 2016 Project
Presenter: Kelsey Olson
Faculty Mentor: Ann Gillies

Thank You for Standing in My Way

An original spoken word monologue on the Zen of human conflict, interspersed with monologues from Tony Kushner's Angels in America (the part of Roy Cohn), William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet (the part of Mercutio), and Rajiv Joseph's Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo (the role of the Tiger). All four pieces come together to create a humorous, but poignant, look at a world with so many differing ideologies and why those differing ideologies serve to make us all better, more complete people.

Student Showcase 2016 Project
Presenter: Joseph Laughlin
Faculty Mentor: Mo LaMee