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Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Annual event showcases undergraduate research

The Undergraduate Research, Scholarship and Creative Activities Conference will take place Apr. 26 and 27. The annual event will showcase the talent of many of the students on campus involved with research.

The event will include poster presentations, an arts exhibit and oral presentations on the final day.

In order to participate, students are to write an abstract introducing their research, which then has to be approved by their sponsoring professor. Abstracts may come from students involved with research in all disciplines and majors.

Tammy Hoyer, conference chair, created the annual event 24 years ago, and has since seen a significant increase in participants.

“Nineteen students participated in the first conference, which happened in April of 1990, and last year, in year 23, we had 430,” Hoyer said.

The event is not only intended to challenge students academically.

“The conference will stimulate interaction between students and faculty, while encouraging undergraduates to pursue advanced degrees toward the goal of research and college teaching,” the event webpage states.

Students who participate are also learning how to deliver information in a concise and comprehensible format.

“It’s a huge skill, to learn how to synthesize this huge body of information they’ve learned into something that’s still complex and meaningful to their field, but reachable to a more generalized audience,” Hoyer said.

The conference may also serve as inspiration to students who have yet to be involved with research.

“I think if students have a chance to hear their peers and see their projects, they will realize they can really take advantage of being at this research university,” said Carolyn de la Peña, interim vice provost for Undergraduate Education.

According to de la Peña, the event will be a time for students to present what they have learned.
“Our students are not just sitting and writing notes, they’re putting classroom knowledge to work, independently,” Peña said.

The deadline to submit an abstract is Feb. 19 at 4 p.m.

For more information on the conference and to look at samples of past student abstracts, visit the Undergraduate Research Center’s website at undergraduateresearch.ucdavis.edu.

SASHA COTTERELL can be reached at campus@theaggie.org.

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