University of Saint Joseph’s 2022 Symposium Day Showcases Diversity of Student Research 

Ariana Gazaferi ‘22 Announced as Winner 

University of Saint Joseph student Ariana Gazaferi ‘22 of Milldale, who is graduating with her B.S. in Chemistry has been chosen as the winner of the University’s Symposium Day event for her presentation “Optimization of three-component synthesis of oxazinones for anti-Alzheimer’s properties.” Her work was selected from the 32 posters, 30 presentations, 13 art displays and 81 presenters who shared that day and who were mentored by USJ faculty. Gazaferi’s faculty sponsor for the project was Associate Professor Sarah Zingales, who is Director of Graduate Programs, Department of Chemistry.  

Ariana Gazaferi ‘22

Every year, USJ hosts a campus-wide, day-long event where students present their research and creative works to their peers, faculty, staff, and visitors. But this year’s Symposium Day held an air of charged excitement as it was back in person for the first time after a two-year hiatus. Faculty, students, staff, and friends of the University spent the day enjoying the presentations. A listing of student presentations can be found via the link below. 

Gazaferi had this to say about the honor she received. “I am beyond grateful to be receiving this award and to be selected out of all the other great presenters that day. It was a huge surprise for me and I truly am honored.” Gazaferi said of the Symposium Day experience itself, “I really could not have gotten where I am today without the huge support from all my professors at USJ and especially my research advisor, Dr. Zingales. Not only was she a tremendous mentor for the project, but for things other than school like career goals and graduate school. She and my other professors helped me build confidence in myself to succeed and think big.” 

Organized by Michelle Kraczkowski, Ph.D., co-chair, assistant professor of Biology and Randa Elbih, Ph.D., assistant professor of Education, Symposium Day consisted of more than 50 presentations by students from across the University’s three academic schools.  

Professor Elbih said “Symposium Day is an annual event that honors students’ exceptional research and their faculty mentors. After the event had experienced a one-year cancellation and another year of being entirely virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 26th Symposium Day marked a rebirth of the in-person event.” Professor Elbih said it was good to see all the faculty, students, and staff learning about students’ research, mingling, and networking and the event was undoubtedly great, “but the behind-the-scenes work and effort preparing for Symposium Day were massive. It took: 15 faculty reviewers, 22 faculty sponsors, 11 moderators, 80 student presenters, two organizers, and all departments to prepare for and participate in the event. The reward of a successful Symposium Day event makes it all worth it,” she said. 

To learn more about the students’ work, visit the 2022 Symposium Day webpage or the USJ Center for Student Research and Creative Activity