Highlights from BYU Colleges: Student diagnostic tool predicts Alzheimer’s, student will perform in New York City


College of Life Sciences

BYU students present their project at the finals of the 2022 Student Innovator of the Year Competition for a chance to win the $50,000 prize. (College of Life Sciences)

This year’s Student Innovator of the Year Competition winner was a team of students who created a diagnostic tool that can help predict someone’s likelihood for developing Alzheimer’s long before they have symptoms.

This competition takes place yearly at BYU and gives students the opportunity to showcase their ideas and technologies to make the world a better place.

The runner-up and crowd’s favorite was a team of students who created an affordable mobile eyecare diagnostic tool to be used in third-world countries. They created Hexoptic Eyecare, a device that provides eye exams in under four minutes, and which is already in use in five small clinics in Haiti, Sierra Leone and Madagascar.

College of Fine Arts and Communications

BYU music dance theatre student Luke Rands plans to move to New York City after graduation to pursue a career in the entertainment industry.

He feels confident he will be able to thrive in the city, as he already had the chance to participate in the LINK theatre program. This program provided him with a unique opportunity to attend classes by performance professionals and network with people from the industry.

“Who knows if I will book ‘Hamilton’ or ‘Cinderella’ from this experience, but the confidence boost alone is priceless. It’s scary to choose the path of an artist, but knowing I’m on the right path will help me as I transition from school to New York City,” Rands said.

Rands also talked about the many connections he was able to make and said he remains hopeful about what the future might bring for him.

“Meeting, living with and working daily with some of the most talented actors from the best college programs across America was something that I didn’t know I needed,” he said. “They are now my close friends, my community and the people I will get to do my career with. Their success feels like my success, and I know they feel the same.”

College of Humanities

Linguistics MA Nathan Adamson presents his academic research findings on reduplication in the Hiligaynon language. (College of Humanities)

Seven graduates participated in the Three Minute Thesis competition on Feb. 24, where they delivered a short presentation about their research findings.

Linguistics MA Nathan Adamson, who placed first in the competition, talked about his research on how Filipino people who speak Hiligaynon repeat sounds and words in their vocabulary.

“One of the hardest things is compressing things unconventionally. You have to talk about your topic in a new way that you’re not used to in your own academic sphere,” Adamson said about the time constraint of the competition.

As the winner, Adamson also carried the torch for the College of Humanities when he faced off against winners from other colleges on March 10 at the WSC Varsity Theater.

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