Four Tarleton students earn first-place honors at Pathways event


Wednesday, March 30, 2022

STEPHENVILLE, Texas — Four Tarleton State University students clinched first-place honors at the 17th annual Pathways Student Research Symposium on March 3-4 at Texas A&M University in College Station. Four Tarleton students earned second- and third-place awards.

The symposium is an opportunity for undergraduate, master’s degree and doctoral students to present their research findings — across various academic disciplines — in a poster or oral format.

Graduate Project Winners:

Lyric Richardson, first place, Biomedical and Health Sciences – “Effects of Low-Density Fatigue on Motor Unit Firing Properties,” mentored by Dr. Michael Luera

Ryon Springer, first place, Agriculture and Natural Resources – “Palatability of Hempseed Meal Pellets Compared to Mainstream Feedstuffs in Horses,” mentored by Drs. Trinette Jones, Kimberly Guay and Kimberly Wellmann

Emily Purnell, second place, Agriculture and Natural Resources – “Effect of Cannabidiol on Follicular Growth and Ovulation in Cattle,” mentored by Drs. Kimberly Guay, Cheyenne Runyan and David Roper

Heather Ruemke, third place, Agriculture and Natural Resources – “Beyond the Breeding Soundness Exam: The Evaluation of the Motility and Viability of Sperm Cells as well as a Quantification and Evaluation of miRNA 26a-5p, miRNA 574 as Parameters for Bull Infertility,” mentored by Drs. Cheyenne Runyan, Jolena Waddell and Brant Poe

Undergraduate Project Winners:

Kylea Marlow, first place, Business and Information Technology – “Service Blueprint Approach to the Planning of a Business Plan Competition,” mentored by Dr. Chris Shao

Elpida Cervantes, first place, Education – “Using the Student Perception Survey to Cultivate a Community of Care in the Fifth Grade Classroom,” mentored by Dr. Crystal Rose

Jackson Black and Zackery Watson, third place, Engineering and Computer Science – “Design and Fabrication of Space Exploration Vehicle for Extraterrestrial Terrain,” mentored by Dr. Ruaa Al Mezrakchi

“We are very pleased with our students and their presentations at this year’s Pathways Symposium as well as the faculty members who mentored them,” said Dr. Rupa Iyer, Vice President for the Division of Research, Economic Development and Innovation. “Tarleton was well represented at this competitive event. Our students presented their research findings to faculty members from The Texas A&M University System with expert knowledge in their respective fields as well as networked with their peers.”

For more information on Tarleton’s research programs, go to

A founding member of The Texas A&M University System, Tarleton is breaking records — in enrollment, research, scholarship, athletics, philanthropy and engagement — while transforming the lives of more than 16,000 students in Stephenville, Fort Worth, Waco, Midlothian, A&M RELLIS at Bryan and online. True to Tarleton’s values of excellence, integrity, and respect, academic programs emphasize real world learning and address regional, state and national needs.