Three Sacramento State students took high honors at the 29th annual California State University Student Research Competition, held May 1-2 at CSU San Bernardino.

May Is Bike Month

Nyree Hall, left, Wyatt Andersen and Terra Thorne.

Graduate student Terra Thorne took first place in the Business, Economics, and Public Administration Session. Undergraduate Nyree Hall placed first in the Education Session. And undergraduate Wyatt Andersen took second place in the Health, Nutrition and Clinical Session.

The competition drew 260 students from 22 campuses to make oral presentations about original research they have conducted. The competitors previously took part in their own university’s symposium. The Sacramento State symposium was held March 6.

Thorne, who is working on a master’s degree in public policy and administration, gave a presentation titled “Immigrants and Health Insurance Enrollment: Identifying Factors that Influence Coverage.” She found that a person’s citizenship status affects the likelihood that he or she is enrolled in a health insurance program. “Even for immigrant groups who have access to several health insurance options, there remains an insurance gap,” she says. “With lawmakers looking to expand insurance options, my research indicates they may want to consider factors beyond just the policy barriers to identify the best way to close the insurance gap.”

Hall has a bachelor’s degree in ethnic studies. Her presentation was titled “Still a Minority: Exploring Black Student Enrollment Decline in the California State University System.” She determined there has been a decline since 1997 because of factors such as the overturning of affirmative action, increased tuition and reduced financial aid.

She credits Sac State’s McNair Scholars Program for her success in the competition and at the University. “That program is what helped me to do research and helped me see that I do want to go to grad school,” Hall says.

Andersen’s presentation, “The Anterolateral Ligament: A Case Study,” focused on a ligament in the knee that only recently was confirmed to exist. While its existence was first postulated in 1879, Andersen says it wasn’t determined to be an independent ligament structure until 2013, and his research looks at how the relationship between the anterolateral and the ACL will affect the approach taken in treatment and reconstruction.

Andersen, who is pursuing a career in medicine, says the competition helps to propel him to the next level. “Above all else, though, I enjoyed doing it,” he says. “It’s been a nice experience to keep learning, keep digging, keep trying to figure out everything that’s going on.”

For a complete list of competition winners, visit For media assistance regarding Sac State’s competitors, call the University’s Public Affairs office at (916) 278-6156. – Craig Koscho