Tuesday, November 29, 2016

University of New Orleans Participates in 9th Annual Fall Undergraduate Research Invitational

Several University of New Orleans students took part in the 9th Annual Fall Undergraduate Research Invitational, which was hosted by the University of Louisiana at Lafayette Honors Program and held Nov. 18-19, 2016 at the Lafayette campus. The conference provides undergraduate students an opportunity to present papers and posters on research projects they conducted themselves or in which they played an active role.

Several UNO students at the conference discussed their research across a range of scientific disciplines:

Camryn Martin, a senior majoring in earth and environmental sciences, discussed her research involving physical modeling of tidal creek migration dynamics and implications for detached bar development;
Christian Monroy, a junior majoring in biological sciences, discussed his search for the nuclear localization signal in the yeast mRNA methyltransferase, IME4; and
Gaurav Gyawali, a junior year physics student, whose presentation addressed coarse graining of pH-responsive polymers using Stillinger Weber potential.

Other conference participants from UNO led discussions about student-written poetry, examining various styles of writing and how style affects the tone, meaning and perception of the poem:

Michelle Lepori, a senior pursuing a degree in interdisciplinary studies;
Jasmine Holloway, a senior studying creative writing and marketing;
Kayla Fletcher and Kacie Fontenot, both seniors concentrating in creative writing;
Daniel Vines, a senior majoring in music;
Benjamin Aleshire, a sophomore in romance languages with a concentration in Spanish; and
Anna Young, a junior focused on creative writing.

Robust participation at the annual conference is one of many initiatives undertaken at UNO to promote research activity among undergraduates.

“We know that having our undergraduate students engaged in and excited about research brings benefits on several levels,” said Elizabeth Sigler, UNO’s coordinator of undergraduate research. “It enhances learning through mentoring relationships with faculty and helps students develop critical thinking, creativity and problem solving skills. It also increases student retention and enrollment in graduate education.”

The UNO Center for Undergraduate Research operates the P.U.R.S.U.E. (Privateer Undergraduate Research and Scholarly UNO Experience) program, which pairs students with faculty mentors and provides awards for student worker research positions. Additionally, an annual showcase for undergraduate research, scholarship and creativity, called InnovateUNO, allows students to present their work in a poster, discussion, art display, performance or screening. These initiatives are guided by the UNO Undergraduate Research Council, a faculty and staff group representing disciplines across UNO’s colleges and schools. UNO is also a member of the Council on Undergraduate Research, a national organization whose mission is to support and promote high-quality undergraduate student-faculty collaborative research and scholarship.