Utah Undergraduates Flock To Westminster For 2009 Utah Conference On Undergraduate Research
Nearly 400 students will attend the third annual UCUR at Westminster
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Krista DeAngelis (801) 832-2682
Feb. 12, 2009
SALT LAKE CITY– Approximately 400 students from across the state will flock to Westminster on February 20 for the third annual Utah Conference on Undergraduate Research (UCUR). Students from 14 Utah colleges and universities will have the opportunity to share the results of their undergraduate research with peers and faculty members from across the state, as well as the community at large.
The conference marks a fairly recent trend in research--to introduce undergraduates to the research process and experience before they enter graduate school. UCUR is the only state-wide undergraduate research conference in the country.
“The continued success in undergraduate research programs is vital to the economic vitality of the state,” said Tim Dolan, Westminster’s coordinator of National Fellowships and Undergraduate Research. “These students go on to become our future scientists, inventors and business people in the state.”
The schedule of UCUR activities includes an afternoon session for faculty on February 19, followed by a full day of oral and poster presentations by students on February 20. The presentation topics will range from automotive, to fine arts, to microbiology. There will be a lunchtime panel of graduate students discussing their undergraduate research experiences and offering advice about the graduate school admission process. A full schedule can be found at: http://www.westminstercollege.edu/ucur/index.cfm?parent=9171&detail=9172.
While students from all over the state will be presenting, Dolan explains that the conference isn’t a competition so much as it’s an opportunity to work together to further the best interest of the students. He adds that the faculty development sessions are a unique feature that provides a forum for faculty to find opportunities to collaborate on undergraduate research projects.
Many students have gone onto further their education because of their undergraduate research opportunities. This year’s graduate student panel includes students from a variety of disciplines:
Dusty Moore graduated from Westminster College in 2008 with a B.S. degree in biology. He will be starting his PhD in biomedical engineering in the fall of 2009. He spent the summer in Lausanne, Switzerland on a ThinkSwiss Fellowship to perform stem cell research.
Jennifer Marie Suflita received her Bachelor of Fine Arts with an emphasis in painting from Utah State University. Her professional experience includes drawing instruction for Utah State students during a study abroad trip to Germany, as well as lecturing at both Brigham Young University and the University of Utah.
Sarah Farnsworth is working on her PhD in neuroscience at the University of Utah. She received her B.S. in Psychology/ Zoology from Weber State University.
John Calder graduated from Utah Valley University in 2007 with a degree in Integrated Studies with emphases in earth science and philosophy. He is currently working toward a M.S. degree in wildlife and wildlands conservation in the Department of Plant and Wildlife Sciences at Brigham Young University.
James Tucker graduated from Lewis and Clark College with a B.A. degree in physics and a minor in mathematics. He completed his pre-med coursework at the University of Utah and is currently working on his PhD/MD at the University of Utah. He
works at the Moran Eye Center doing retinal research.
The public is invited to attend all research sessions. For more information, visit www.westminstercollege.edu/ucur.
The Utah Conference on Undergraduate Research (UCUR) is modeled after the National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) and organized by a committee of representatives from educational institutions across the state. The conference celebrates academic, professional and personal achievements resulting from undergraduate research projects or creative endeavors.
Undergraduates from all disciplines are invited to apply for the conference, which provides an excellent opportunity to students to present their work in a scholarly setting to students, faculty, field specialists and community members. Presentations may include both visual and oral displays of work in all academic disciplines, from art history to molecular biology. The first Utah Conference on Undergraduate Research was held at the University of Utah in 2007. The second was hosted by Utah Valley University in 2008.
Westminster is a nationally recognized, comprehensive liberal arts college. With a broad array of graduate and undergraduate programs, Westminster is distinguished by its unique environment for learning. Westminster prepares students for success through active and engaged learning, real world experiences and its vibrant campus community. Westminster’s unique location, adjacent to the Rocky Mountains and to the dynamic city of Salt Lake, further enriches the college experience. For more information, visit www.westminstercollege.edu.