St. Mary’s University promotes transformational learning through its support of research, creative and scholarly activities for faculty and students at the graduate and undergraduate level.

Research enhances critical thinking skills and provides hands-on experience for students entering the job market or advanced degree programs.

When involved in research, creative and scholarly activities, students enjoy positive, life-changing relationships with faculty mentors.

Students at St. Mary’s have an opportunity to participate in undergraduate research and impact the world through purposeful academic research. St. Mary’s University undergraduates are conducting cutting-edge research and using critically emerging technology in bioengineering and biology, as well as other science, engineering and technology fields. The University also offers the chance to work with faculty scholars in business, humanities and social science.

Our Institutional Review Board ensures that research participants’ rights and welfare are protected.

Research Week

The First Annual Research Week at St. Mary’s celebrates the achievements of our undergraduates, graduates and faculty and is part of National Research Week. The SPARC and OSRI offices thank everyone involved for their continued engagement in and support of research, creative and scholarly activities.

22nd Annual Research Symposium and Creative Activities Exhibition

Each spring semester, St. Mary’s University hosts its annual Research Symposium and Creative Activities Exhibition, which fosters scholarly dialogue among students and faculty. Presenters at the exhibition display an assortment of projects including scientific investigations, analytical reviews or projects, innovations/inventions, honors theses, senior projects and original works of art, media, poetry or writing. The event is open to undergraduate, graduate and law students.

Westside San Antonio Humanities Project

With O’Connor Chair resources, the St. Mary’s University’s Westside San Antonio Humanities Project funded ten faculty-student teams to research and showcase aspects of the culture and history of San Antonio’s Westside neighborhoods throughout 2002-2021: Known historically as Barrio Laredo (18th century), Laredito (19th century), the Latin Quarter (early 20th century), and now the Westside, this predominantly Mexican American section of the city has grown dramatically during the last two centuries but few know of its rich history and culture.

Past Symposium Projects

The 21st annual Research Symposium and Creative Activities Exhibition eBook is available in an online format. Students submitted videos and digital posters to present their research. Please click the button below and take a look at the fantastic work our creative and research students have put together.


Oral Presentation Winners

First Place
Alyssa Alvarez , Expressing, Purifying, and Characterizing a Flavodoxin from the Solvent-Producing Clostridium Acetobutylicum

Second Place
Jocelyn Baca, A Dynamical Systems Approach to Modeling the Practice of Catholicism in the United States During the Twentieth Century

Third Place
Rebeca Gurrola, Wearable textile-based energy harvester designed for human motion

Graduate Poster Presentation Winners

First Place
Cynthia Anderson, Attitudes, Knowledge, and Skills of Play Therapy Among Elementary School Counselors

Second Place
Leigh Ann Cowan, A Visualization of Deviation from Traditional English Grammar

Third Place
Jiyoung Moon, The Influence of Intergroup Contact on Attitudes Toward Diversity Among Professional Counselors

Science, Engineering and Technology Poster Presentation Winners

First Place
Allison Woods, N-Terminal of ADP-Ribosylating “CARDS Toxin” Complexed With NAD+ Analogue

Second Place
David Feagins and Adrian Ornelas, Finding efficient ligand docking tools for drug discovery

Third Place
Hector Garcia, In silico Identification of the Hairy and Krüppel Binding Sites leads to Unravelling of their Synergistic Action in the Juvenile Hormone Regulatory Pathway

Humanities Poster Presentation Winners

First Place
Zaraly Frasquillo, Sorry, We Have Reached Our Capacity: The Immigration Act of 1924

Second Place

Sierra Fuentes, Loyalty, Fear and Internal conflict in The Lord of the Rings

Third Place
Brandon Villarreal, The Dobrik Effect: A Qualitative Report on How David Dobrik has Risen to YouTube Stardom.

Social Sciences Poster Presentation Winners

First Place
Isabela Baker, Persuasion Techniques and Antivaccination Messages on Twitter

Second Place
Sabrina Rodriguez and Sarah Perez, Animals and Attachment Theory: Relative to Academic Stress

Third Place
Alicia Perez, No More Mr. Nice Guy: Rock Music and Aggression Across Time

School of Business Presentation Winners

First Place
Chicago Schuller, Application of Advanced Predictive Models in Analyzing Faith-Based Harassment

Second Place
Adan Morales, Do women make better business leaders: If so, what factors are associated with such leaders?

High School Poster Presentation Winners

First Place
Nikhita Pathapati, Effect of maternal PCPA treatment at mid-gestation on adolescent behaviors relevant to autism

Second Place
Eric Gonzales, Rapid Growing Algae Year 2

Third Place
Daniela Olvera, Macroinvertebrates in the Soils of Five Habitats in South Texas

Senior Faculty Mentor Award

Heather Hill, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology

Junior Faculty Mentor Award

Jillian Pierucci, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Psychology


2018 Presentations

Magnetotelluric Investigations of the Yellowstone Caldera: Understanding the Emplacement of Crustal Magma Bodies
Rebeca Gurrola, McNair Scholar, Department of Physics and Department of Mathematics

The Effects of Summer Camp on Participants’ Affective Views of Science

Iliana De La Cruz, Department of Physics and Department of Mathematics

The Jubilees Palimpsest Project: The Role of Digital Humanities in Recovering Palimpsests

Anthony Selvanathan, graduate student, Department of Theology

Chatty Men and Slutty Women: Biased Gender Portrayals in Adult Cartoons

Shawnee Pelletier, Department of Psychology

The Mouth Game: A Social Developmental Milestone in Beluga Calves?

Magdalena Banda, Department of Biology

Engineering of a Putative Zinc Binding Site in SOD5 from Candida Albicans

Claudia Moreno Romero, Department of Biology

NAD+ Bound N-terminal Domain of CARDS Toxin Increases IL-1B Secretion

Allison Woods, Department of Biology

Color-blindness Deconstructed: An Assessment of Cobras Over Time

Jacqueline Lucero, McNair Scholar, Department of Psychology

Live Oak, Very Dead Fish: an Anatomical Description of a Legacy Collection

of Miocene Fish Fossils from Live Oak County, TX
Tatiana Marrone, Department of Physics and Department of Environmental Science

Identification of Novel Microtubule Targeting Agents from a Unique Chemical Compound Library

Allison Woods, Department of Biology

Isolation and Injustice: The Story of German American Internment in Texas

Nicole Johnson, Department of History

Finessing Privilege: A Characterization of Passing through Latina Experiences

Gisela Reyes, McNair Scholar, Department of Philosophy


High School Participation

St. Mary’s University invites high school students to participate in the annual Research Symposium and Creative Activities Exhibition alongside undergraduate, graduate and law students to present original research and creative products. In past years, we have showcased works from virtually every major and discipline. This is an excellent opportunity for high school students to display their work and see what academic conferences offer. There are also cash prizes for students who choose to compete, and the opportunity for students to meet University faculty.

Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships (SURF)

The Office of Student Research and Inquiry awards fellowships to students interested in pursuing their research and creative activity through the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships (SURF) Program. The fellowships are available to students from all three undergraduate schools — the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, the Greehey School of Business and the School of Science, Engineering and Technology. Proposals from all academic disciplines are welcome and strongly encouraged.

The fellowships provide funds for undergraduate students to participate with faculty mentors in an intensive eight-week, scholarly activity, as well as travel grants for students to present their research academic or professional conference. Current undergraduate students can find more about applying for these fellowships and grants by visiting the Office of Student Research and Inquiry page on the Gateway portal.


Melissa Karlin, Ph.D.
Director of the Office of Student Research and Inquiry
Garni Science Hall, Room 203

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