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Undergraduate Research Conference


UNH Hosts Fourth Annual Undergraduate Research Conference
Students Present Projects April 28-May 3

By Lori Gula
UNH News Bureau

April 23, 2003

DURHAM, N.H. -- In what has become a spring tradition, hundreds of undergraduate students from the University of New Hampshire's Durham and Manchester campuses will showcase their research projects at this year's Undergraduate Research Conference.

The conference has grown from a day-long event to a week-long conference that highlights scholarly and artistic work across all disciplines, including business, health, psychology, the fine and performing arts, engineering, life sciences and agriculture, sociology and English. It runs Monday, April 28, to Saturday, May 3, at locations across campus.

Nearly 300 students and their faculty advisors are expected to participate during the week of presentations and poster sessions. "We expanded events this year so that more students could participate. We hope even more will partic ipate next year," Eleanor Abrams, faculty fellow in the Office of Research and Public Service.

It is estimated that up to 75 percent of UNH students are involved in research during their undergraduate education.

This year's research topics span a wide range of topics, many tied directly to the state of New Hampshire. They include research about the local effects of the Downeaster train; the range and habitat of the moose in Northern New Hampshire; the market for New Hampshire-made products; aquaculture; genomics; the differences in oil development in Saudi Arabia and Iraq; consumer patriotism after Sept. 11; emotional intelligence and emotional creativity; the effects of Ketamine; and community policing, and citizen involvement and attitudes toward police. Music students will perform original compositions, and art students will exhibit their works.

"Conducting primary research gives undergraduate students an opportunity to follow an intellectual project from its emergence as a kernel of an idea, or speculation through to its fruition as a polished, fully conceptualized whole. As much as the product of the research is important and gratifying, the process is perhaps more valuable," says Jennifer Selwyn, assistant professor of history. "It begins with a student defining a research topic, identifying promising sources, watching the project take on shape and substance, and even dealing with the frustrations that come when one tries to put all of these conclusions and evidence down on paper in a clear, coherent, and readable fashion. The particular research skills that students develop, as well as engaging in a close, working relationship with a faculty mentor, set important patterns that can benefit students far beyond their undergraduate years."

Faculty members play an important role as mentors to these undergraduate researchers, who work side-by-side with their faculty mentors. At times, student research results are integrated into the faculty member's overall research findings.

"Among the great joys of teaching is the opportunity to work closely in a one-on-one relationship with an undergraduate conducting research in one's discipline. Aside from the possibility of imparting particular research and writing skills, one can also model a passionate engagement with one's work, good work habits like patience, persistence and resourcefulness, and the sense of humor that is always required for success in any research endeavor. Mentoring student research is also exciting on a very personal level, because it is rewarding to watch a mentee gain confidence and a sense of accomplishment." Selwyn says.

Carolyn Mebert, associate professor of psychology, says the conference is a great opportunity for New Hampshire residents, government and elected officials, UNH alumni, students in secondary education and others to learn about what is possible when students and faculty collaborate in the educational enterprise.

"It's a wonderful opportunity for students to talk about what they've done and what they've found, and it's a wonderful opportunity for anyone to learn a lot about a wide variety of different topics and to learn about all the good work that is going on at UNH," Mebert says.

The week-long extravaganza is the culmination of a year or more of research conducted by students under the guidance of faculty researchers, and is free and open to the public. For more information on the conference, go to

URC2003 Calendar of Events

April 28 – May 3, 2003

Monday, April 28
All-Day Event
2003 Senior B.A. and B.F.A. Exhibition
The Art Gallery

Tuesday, April 29
All-Day Event
2003 Senior B.A. and B.F.A. Exhibition
The Art Gallery

12:30 – 2 p.m.
Mechanical Engineering Senior Project Presentations
McConnell Hall, Room 208

Wednesday, April 30
All-Day Event
2003 Senior B.A. and B.F.A. Exhibition
The Art Gallery

8 a.m. – 10 a.m.
TSAS Community Service & Leadership Program, Senior Portfolios of Learning and Service
Barton Hall, Room 123

11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Seacoast Reads Exhibition
MUB 334

11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Service Learning Project’s Poster Exhibit
MUB Room 338/340

noon – 1 p.m.
ArtBreak Series
The Art Gallery

2 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Opening for the Leitzel Center for Mathematics, Science & Engineering Education
Johnson Theatre

3:45 – 4:45 p.m.
Reception & Presentations of Undergraduate Research on Mathematics, Science & Engineering Education
Sponsored in part by the UNH Parents Association
Morse Hall Atrium

Thursday, May 1
noon – 2 p.m.
Mechanical Engineering Senior Project Presentations
McConnell Hall, Room 208

4 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Reception for Aspiring Graduate Students
Sponsored by the Graduate School
Location: TBD

10 a.m. – 9 p.m.
UNHM Undergraduate Research Conference
University Center Auditorium, Manchester

3:30 – 5:30 p.m.
Thompson School Undergraduate Student Showcase
Stacey’s in Cole Hall

All-Day Event
2003 Senior B.A. and B.F.A. Exhibition
The Art Gallery

Friday, May 2
8:30 a.m. – noon
Presentations of Undergraduate Research, Scholarship & Creative Presentations

9 a.m. – noon
Humanities and Arts Symposium

noon – 2:30 p.m.
Chemistry Department’s Poster Session for Undergraduate Research
Parson Hall’s Lobby

1 – 5 p.m.
English Undergraduate Research Conference

1 – 5 p.m.
Haselrud Conference-Psychology
Conant Hall, Room 101

1:30 – 6 p.m.
Paul J. Holloway Business Plan Competition
The New England Center

2 – 4 p.m.
SHHS 3rd Annual Grimes Undergraduate Research Competition
Pettee Hall, Room G10

8 – 10 p.m.
Annual UNH Student Composer’s Concert
Bratton Recital Hall PCAC M-121

Saturday, May 3
8 a.m. – 1 p.m.
College of Life Sciences & Agriculture Undergraduate Research Conference
New England Center

1 – 5 p.m.
Senior B.A. & B.F.A. Exhibition
The Art Gallery


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