REDay 2024 sign
Bryant University's annual REDay celebrates faculty, staff, and student research across campus. Photography by Liam Lewis
Research in action: REDay showcases scholarly impact at Bryant
Apr 22, 2024, by Emma Bartlett, Stephen Kostrzewa, and Casey Nilsson
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On April 17, all the trappings of innovation and invention proliferated across the Bryant campus during the university’s 12th annual Research and Engagement Day (REDay). The event featured hundreds of presentations, workshops, exhibitions, panel discussions, and poster sessions on the most pressing topics in research today — from artificial intelligence to climate change — led by Bryant students, faculty, and staff. 

Lucie Castagne ’24, who presented research into gender lens investing, elevated the importance of research for personal and professional fulfillment during her REDay closing keynote. 

“Conducting research reminded me of a simple concept that my mom tried teaching me: ‘The secret of happiness is to do what you love and the secret of success is to love what you do,’ ” noted Castagne, who earned this year’s REDay Research Ambassador Award. “Research has taught me to process information and it makes critical thinking nearly automatic, which, in my opinion, is key to not only differentiating ourselves in the workforce, but also a component of overall self-fulfillment.” 

In her closing remarks, Associate Provost Wendy Samter thanked the many Bryant volunteers who made REDay possible, and praised the efforts of the university’s student, faculty, and staff researchers. 

“As I look towards the future, I'm inspired by our community’s potential to lead the way in meaningful research and creative engagement,” she noted. “I believe our commitment to encouraging discovery will continue to drive progress and change. And I look forward to the many exciting projects that lie ahead.” 

Here’s what the Bryant community shared on REDay 24: 


Gitanjali Rao

REDay 2024 opened with a keynote address by 18-year-old Gitanjali Rao, an inventor, author, and global STEM advocate who was recognized as TIME Magazine’s “Top Young Innovator” and “Kid of the Year” in 2020. Over the course of a candid hour-long talk, Rao discussed her inventions “Epione,” a device for early opioid addiction diagnosis; “Kindly,” an AI-powered anti-cyberbullying device; and a patented lead contamination tool, which earned her an EPA Presidential Award. The first-year student at Massachusetts Institute of Technology also credited her ability to accomplish great feats of invention to design thinking. “If you can break innovation into five steps,” Rao emphasized, “you can do anything in this world.” Her statement was met by a sea of nods from Bryant students — all of whom participated in the university’s flagship design thinking bootcamp, Innovation and Design Experience for All (IDEA), during their first year on campus. 

 RELATED ARTICLE: At IDEA 2024, first-year students find passion and purpose in design thinking

PA in American Samoa presentaion

A large group gathered in the AIC hallway to hear from four of Bryant’s Physician Assistant Studies students — Ally Derosiers ’25MPAS, Alyssa Beckinella ’25MPAS, Alyssa Bonnano ’25MPAS, and Vanessa Cunningham ’25MPAS — who completed their 10-week clinical rotation working in American Samoa’s only hospital earlier this academic year. Creating a poster for their project, the graduate students shared their experiences and answered questions about their time on the island. 


Lucie presentation

Financial Services and Information Systems double major Lucie Castagne ’24, the founder and first president of Bryant's newly formed Research Association, presented her research into gender lens investing, a recent financial innovation that aims to both promote economic development and advance gender equality. Castagne, advised by Professor of Finance Asli Asciolglu, Ph.D., also analyzed how gender lens investing could be incorporated into the Bryant curriculum.


Pushpika Thoutireddy  REDay

Global Supply Chain Management major Pushpika Thoutireddy ’27 has always had an interest in the arts. A classically trained violinist who has also sung for 14 years, Thoutireddy is a self-taught artist who enjoys drawing and painting as well. At this year's Creative Hub, she exhibited “Pushpanjali,” which presents the 10 flowers mentioned in the Bhagavad Gita that are used to worship different gods and goddesses in Hindu culture. At the end of REDay, Thoutireddy received the Audience Favorite Award for the Creativity Hub. 


Kevin Tucker research Bryant

In this presentation, Kevin Tucker ’24 shared his honors thesis research, “Understanding the Future of Blockchain Technology,” which sought to undo the misconceptions surrounding digital currencies Bitcoin and Ethereum and explored their history. A passion project for Tucker, who was advised by Management Lecturer Robert Massoud, he also looked at the impact of blockchain and cryptographic tokenization on the financial industry and how it was poised to revolutionize the global financial landscape. REDay, says Tucker, gives students the opportunity to not only share what they learned but also to contribute to academic discourse. “It's about lighting a spark; if one person comes out of one of these sessions and wants to learn more, I think that's a win,” he noted. 

RELATED ARTICLE: Through Bryant Honors Program, students research, analyze hot-button issues


Bryant CAS faculty

During a College of Arts and Sciences spotlight panel on faculty research related to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Economics Lecturer Allison Kaminaga, Ph.D., discussed her past work related to gender equality — one of the 17 SDG goals. Working with Hannah Sheldon ’20, the two investigated the impact of property titling on women's empowerment in Benin, a sovereign state in Western Africa. “The data consistently showed that when women owned land and had a title, they were more empowered,” said Kaminaga. “We also found that excluding women's names from these papers shifts the power balance and disempowers women.” 


bryant rotunda

In the Unistructure Rotunda, flags from around the world were a canopy for the International Hub, organized by Assistant Professor of History, Literature, and the Arts Cedric Oliva, Ph.D. The hub, which featured poster displays, activities, and international food, showcased international research initiatives at Bryant and encouraged students and faculty to engage with future research opportunities across the globe.   


Supply Chain Bryant

Seniors taking theGlobal Supply Chain Management practicum course presented early results of their consultation work with Edesia Nutrition, a nonprofit eradicating malnutrition through the manufacture and distribution of high-protein, ready-to-eat products. The nonprofit, which received a $137 million grant from the Bezos Family Foundation, tapped Bryant Global Supply Chain students to identify logistical inefficiencies, including trucking and forklift operations, as well as create a layout for Flex 8, a temporary warehouse that will store products until a new, larger facility is built. During their REDay presentation, Emerson Swartz '24, Eduardo Peralta '24, Alexander Valente '24, and Jose Espinal '24, shared that they have already identified processes that could save the nonprofit $448,000 per year, and their work will continue through the semester. “Our success is measured in saving lives,” said Peralta. “With our preliminary cost savings, this translates to almost 10,000 lives saved every year.”


Jett Duval Bryant

Featured on a School of Health and Behavioral Sciences spotlight panel that discussed faculty and student research collaborations, Jett DuVal ’24 spoke about her mentorship with Professor of Biological and Biomedical Sciences Christopher Reid, Ph.D. DuVal, who came to college not knowing what she wanted to do, jumped at the opportunity to work in Reid’s lab. “Over the years, I've grown to love the process of learning and appreciate failures. That's what research is about: learning that it's okay to fail,” said DuVal, who will attend the University of Georgia for a Ph.D. in microbiology.

 RELATED ARTICLE: Research experiments lead to career discovery for biology major Jett DuVal

Research winners Bryant

Students and faculty from across the university were recognized for their achievements in research, scholarship, and creative pursuits, including Nicole Dioh ’24 and Kasey Thomas ’24, who both received the “Outstanding Achievement in Social Justice by Students” award. Dioh examined equity in education through her project “Business for the Rest of Us,” while Thomas conducted a cross-section analysis of the factors affecting interstate migration in the United States. 

Here's a full list of award winners: 

  • Provost’s Award: Connor Emery ’24, “Dialogue to Action: A Study of Climate Change Discussion on Twitter Using the 3 Stages of the COVID-19 Pandemic”
  • Student Research Ambassador Award: Lucie Castagne ’24
  • College of Arts and Sciences Dean’s Award: Paulina Herrera ’26, “Sustainability and Papermaking”
  • School of Health and Behavioral Sciences Director’s Award: Katelyn Caldarone ’24 and Assistant Professor of Psychology Kristin Scaplen, Ph.D., “Investigating the Role of Dopamine in Alcohol Consumption.”
  • College of Business Dean’s Award: Alyssa Alviti ’24, ’25MBA, “Omnichannel Retail Effectiveness: Consumer Attitudes and Attributes Impacting Cross-Category Success Post-Pandemic.”
  • Audience Favorite Award for the International Hub: Michaela Pond ’24
  • Audience Favorite Award for the Creativity Hub: Pushpika Thoutireddy ’27
  • Outstanding Scholarly Achievement by a Student in the Form of a Poster: Jett DuVal ’24 and Professor of Biological and Biomedical Sciences Chris Reid, Ph.D., “Breaking Free: Selective Amide Hydrolysis in Monosubstituted Glycine Diamides”
  • Outstanding Scholarly Achievement by a Student in the Form of an Oral Presentation: Andreas Kotsironis ’24, “Implementing Universal Design for Learning in Financial Literacy Education”
  • Outstanding Achievement in Creative Expression by Students: Acadia Joniec ’24, “Critical and Creative Response to the Art and Music of Bjork”
  • Outstanding Achievement in Social Justice by Students: Kasey Thomas ’24, “Cross Section Analysis of Factors Affecting Interstate Migration,” and Nicole Dioh ’24, “Business for the Rest of Us”
  • Excellence in Student Research Supervision: Professor of Biological and Biomedical Sciences Christopher Reid, Ph.D.
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