February 1, 2013

UNO Puts the Spotlight on Undergraduate Research with InnovateUNO

The University of New Orleans places heightened emphasis on undergraduate research and creative scholarly work this spring with Innovate UNO, the University’s first juried undergraduate research, scholarship and creativity showcase. 

The aim of the competition is to improve undergraduate student success through engagement in research, scholarship and creativity and to help students build skills for further academic and career success, said Matthew Tarr, professor of chemistry and chair of the UNO Undergraduate Research Council founded in March 2012. The showcase is also designed to help students gain interest in advanced scholarly research and encourage them to build skills needed to attain grant funding. 

“It’s inclusive of research, scholarship and creative works, as well as service learning,” said Elizabeth Sigler, coordinator of undergraduate research, who said that the research fair is not geared solely to “lab-and-white coat” research. 

“We’ll have visual arts presentations, performance art – music or drama – and then we have service learning…last year, there was a dual effort between a UNO student and a Tulane University student [that explored learnings and impact of] youth-driven initiatives….We’re running the gamut to all sorts of disciplines here.” 

Students involved in a project that involves research, scholarly work, creative work, or service learning will present their work in a poster, oral presentation, art display, performance or screening at the juried competition, which takes place on Friday, March 1, 2013 on the fourth floor of the University’s Earl K. Long Library. Participants who wish to participate must submit an abstract by Friday, Feb. 8, 2013. 

Winners will be selected for each category, said Sigler. Top presentations in selected categories will be nominated for participation at the University of Louisiana Academic Summit, which UNO joined for the first time last year. The UL system does have a juried art exhibit competition, in which a UNO student won an award last year, as well as a service learning component and categories for more traditional academic research, such as psychology, education, biological sciences, chemistry, humanities and history.

“It ran the gamut last year,” said Sigler. 

The UL System Academic Summit is slated to take place Friday and Saturday, April 12-13 on the campus of the University of Louisiana at Monroe. 

To submit an abstract or learn more about undergraduate research, scholarly, creative, and service learning opportunities at UNO – or to learn more about the University of Louisiana System Academic Summit competition, visit the InnovateUNO website.