Genome sequencing, Reaganomics and collective bargaining were just a few of the topics at the UNH Manchester Undergraduate Research Conference (URC) on Tuesday.
Students, faculty and staff gathered to hear scholarly lectures and see multimedia presentations reflecting research, internships and service-learning work students completed throughout the academic year.
Among those students were Ashley Belbin '17, a biological sciences major, who shared her research into the advancement of genome sequencing and its effect on how we treat disease, while homeland security major TJ Rapson '18 discussed the two major tax cuts of President Ronald Reagan’s years in office, charting the changes in the nation’s gross domestic product over the last three decades.
Meanwhile, Ryan Sanborn '17, who has a double major in history and in politics and society, provided insight into the mission, clients and impact of the International Institute of New England. Sanborn spent the spring semester interning at the nonprofit organization, which assists refugees and immigrants in becoming engaged members of local communities through English as a second language classes, workforce development programs, citizenship services and more.
During the URC’s new “Present and Defend” session, students in the New Hampshire Politics in Action course debated controversial legislative bills. Each student was assigned to either advocate for or against a particular bill and had 10 minutes to defend their position.
The topics of the bills ranged from union dues to the statute of limitations on specific crimes.
Communication arts majors Meagen Fuller '17 and Cole Riel '17, for example, debated House Bill 438, which seeks to eliminate the automatic union dues payment for state employees, while fellow communication arts major Kyli Van Curen '17 joined politics and society majors Jamanae White '17 and Kayla Wood '17 in a discussion on the use of conversion therapy to change a person’s sexual orientation, which is the subject of Senate Bill 224.
Allison Payne '18 presented her case on Senate Bill 66, which deals with fetal homicide, while Taylor Gilliam '18 and Nathan Whitehead '19 debated the elimination of the statute of limitations on sexual assault as outlined in Senate Bill 98. All three students are majoring in politics and society.
Audience participation made the session all the more interesting, requiring each student to clearly articulate their positions on the issues.