Each year, the University of New Hampshire recognizes and celebrates student work at the Undergraduate Research Conference. Spanning both the Durham and Manchester campuses, the URC is one of the largest conferences of its kind in the nation.
More than 150 students participated in this year’s Manchester URC, putting their research, creative and scholarly work on display from April 19 to 22. Sponsored by Bellwether Community Credit Union, the four-day showcase featured student films, screen plays and presentations across different majors. Engineering Technology students had a full day dedicated to the presentation of their senior projects, which was sponsored by Velcro Companies.
UNH Manchester takes pride in the efforts of all students who participated in this year’s event, and recognizes the 2016 URC award recipients below.
- Nelson Gbeve ’15, Communication Arts
- Media in Place: How the Use of Mobile Devices Has Altered How We Relate to Public Spaces
Nelson Gbeve’s project explored the idea that a device can change the way we experience a place. Gbeve, a December graduate from the communication arts program, said he wanted his presentation to show how mobile devices have altered the interpersonal relationships between people in public.
“It has allowed users to be physically present in public spaces, but mentally absent by their ability to access social media sites,” Gbeve said.
Gbeve’s advice to students who wish to present at the URC is to plan out your project ahead of time.
“Time is key for successful research work; time is key when it comes to rehearsing your presentation; and time is key when it comes to the day of presentation.”
- Lori Zibel ’16, History
- Human Rights and the Bombing of Hiroshima
Lori Zibel’s presentation questioned the intersection of human rights and the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, examining how the bombings transformed American and international perspectives.
“I hope that those who saw my presentation were able to understand that human rights is a multifaceted issue,” Zibel, a history major, said. “The atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki demonstrate that achieving globally protected human rights requires all nations, however powerful, to scrutinize their human rights practices.”
Zibel’s advice for a successful URC project is to take advantage of the resources and research support in the library, and to pick a topic you enjoy.
“I have voluntarily spent some of my free time this semester researching because I find this topic interesting,” Zibel said. “If you do not chose something that ‘lights your fire,’ so to speak, your presentation will not shine, and researching will not be at all fun.”
- Kyle Vynorius ’17, Biological Sciences
- Lifetime Multiple Mild Traumatic Brain Injuries Are Associated with Cognitive and Mood Symptoms in Young Health College Students
Kyle Vynorius, a junior in the biological sciences program, presented his research on the effects of repetitive concussions on otherwise healthy college students. His two-year study under Daniel Seichepine, professor and coordinator of neuropsychology, revealed a strong correlation between multiple mild traumatic brain injuries and long-term effects on mood, cognition and executive functioning.
“This data is important, as it provides evidence for a current gap in available literature and gives insight to a major issue being recognized in the United States: The effects of a concussion,” Vynorius said.
CINEMA ARTS PRESENTATION
- Kyle Sanborn ’18, Communication Arts
Kyle Sanborn, a sophomore in the communication arts program, took an artistic look at the internal process of brainstorming in his film presentation at the URC. Titled “Brainstorming,” his short film follows five versions of the protagonist: Genius Kyle, Anxiety Kyle, Lazy Kyle, Introvert Kyle and Car Guy Kyle.
“I took something that I know people have problems with, which was coming up with an idea for a project, and gave the viewer an experience they may not have thought of before, which was going into my brain to see what was going on,” Sanborn said.
Sanborn’s advice to students pursuing a project for the URC is to take something people have experienced, and put your own spin on it. He also suggests putting in the time and effort to get an end result that you’re happy with.
“This video took four months to get to the end result,” Sanborn said. “I determine it as ‘take your time with something you like, and you'll like it even more.’”
ENGINEERING TECHNOLOGY PRESENTATION
- Jacob Gallant ’16, Mechanical Engineering Technology
- Gas Compliant Electrical Feedthrough System: Check Valve Concept
For his senior project, mechanical engineering technology major Jacob Gallant worked with Teledyne DGO in Portsmouth to complete proof of concept for a gas compliant electrical feedthrough system, specifically the check valve solution.
Gallant has been a new product development engineering intern at Teledyne for a little over a year. The project was proposed during an engineering meeting and, having previously interned with a boiler company, he was drawn to it.
“In order to test the boilers in the lab, it was important to install a pressure relief valve on the outlet of the system, so if the internal pressure got too high, there was a fail-safe in place,” Gallant said. “I saw parallels between the proposed project and my prior experience, and decided to take on the check valve concept as my senior project.”
Gallant said preparing for the URC was a lesson in time management, juggling his project with other school work, part-time job, internship and social life. What makes the project more manageable, he said, is focusing on something you find interesting.
“If you can find a topic that interests you, you’ll find that it’s much easier to learn and understand the basic concepts of your project,” Gallant said. “It will allow you to talk intelligently about your topic, but also be able to relate it effectively to your audience.”
COMPUTING TECHNOLOGY PRESENTATION
- Nigel Swanson ’16, Computer Information Systems
- Construction Job and Safety Training Using 3D Simulation Web App