The 20th annual Student Research Week (SRW) was held March 27-31, 2017. The four-day celebration of student research is coordinated by the Graduate and Professional Student Council (GPSC) and provides opportunities for students to present–either orally or in poster form–the research they have conducted as students here at Texas A&M University. The theme for 2017 was inclusivity, and the SRW committee set a goal of representing all of the academic colleges. SRW helps foster a campus-wide culture of research and sets a high standard for student research by advertising the opportunities for inquiry at Texas A&M and inviting the university community to participate in this exciting endeavor.
LAUNCH: Undergraduate Research is excited to announce another successful year for our students at SRW. In addition to comprising a substantial proportion of the presenters, our undergraduates took home the following awards:
SUBJECT AREA AWARDS
Engineering Jordan Lewallen, 1st Place Poster
Kendal Paige Ezell, 1st Place Oral
Kanika Gakhar, 2nd Place Oral
Science Lorna Min, 1st Place Poste
Sara Maynard 2nd Place Poster
Brooke Versace, 1st Place Oral
Miranda Apfel, 2nd Place Oral
Claire Nowka, 1st Place Poster
Daniel Joseph Welch, 2nd Place Poster
Amanda Gomez, 1st Place Oral
James McLean Bell, 2nd Place Oral
Agriculture and Life Sciences
Mackenzie Hartman, 1st Place Oral
Janna Brooks, 1st Place Poster
Education and Human Development
Katelyn Elaine Goodroe, 1st Place Poster
Devyn Chan Rice, 2nd Place Oral
Madison Moore, 1st Place Oral
Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences
Rebecca Harlow, 1st Place Poster
Rebecca Thornton & Michelle Hoathian, 1st Place Oral
Serene Yu, 2nd Place Oral
Morgan Riba, 1st Place Poster
Gabriella Abouelkheir, 2nd Place Poster
Virginia Beth Neese, 1st Place Poster
Sigma Xi Symposium Theme Award
Brooke Versace, Undergraduate Winner
Sigma Xi Interdisciplinary Award
Thomas Edward Settlemyre, Undergraduate Winner
Melbern G. Glasscock Humanities Special Award
James McLean Bell, Undergraduate Winner
University Center Award for Outstanding Abstract
Nicole Green, Undergraduate Winner
University Writing Center Award for Outstanding Presentation Amanda Gomez, Undergraduate Winner
For more information about getting involved in undergraduate research, visit http://ugr.tamu.edu.
In 2004, the Betty M. Unterberger Award for Outstanding Service to Honors Education was created and presented to Dr. Unterberger in recognition of her many years of service and significant contribution to the growth and development of high-impact education at Texas A&M.
The 2016 recipient of the Unterberger Award is Dr.Sarah Misemer.
LAUNCH: Honors extends a warm thank-you to Dr. Misemer for her contributions to Undergraduate Research and her support of students in the humanities! Dr. Misemer was recognized by Dr. Sumana Datta, executive director of LAUNCH, at the LAUNCH Recognition Ceremony in the MSC on Thursday, May 12th. Says Dr. Datta, “Dr. Misemer’s contributions to and support of Undergraduate Research as an administrator and her initiative in promoting and developing the Glasscock Undergraduate Summer Scholars program are changing the perceptions of how Humanities students can successfully experience these life-changing activities. Her care for our student’s well-being and their education is obvious and much appreciated.”
Dr. Sarah M. Misemer is an associate professor in the Department of Hispanic Studies and the 2016 recipient of the Betty M. Unterberger Award for Outstanding Service to Honors Education, which celebrates a faculty member’s commitment to Undergraduate Research. In 2004, the Unterberger Award was created and presented to Dr. Unterberger in recognition of her many years of service and significant contribution to the growth and development of honors education at Texas A&M.
Dr. Misemer has impacted research in the humanities at Texas A&M by establishing the Glasscock Undergraduate Summer Scholars program. Through this program, a tenured faculty member leads a two-week seminar on a specific topic, and students in the seminar develop a research question to study under the faculty member’s mentorship during the following eight weeks. In this second half of the program, students engage in peer writing activities at the Glasscock Center and in writing studios custom-designed for the program by the University Writing Center. The final outcome is students’ public presentations of their written proposals for future research through the Undergraduate Research Scholars Program. The faculty mentor meets with students every two weeks throughout the summer to guide the development of the project and then serves as the research advisor for students’ participation in the Undergraduate Research Scholars program the following year.
In addition to serving as the associate director of the Melbern G. Glasscock Center for Humanities Research, Dr. Misemer is the author of Secular Saints: Performing Frida Kahlo, Carlos Gardel, Eva Perón, and Selena (Tamesis, 2008) and Moving Forward, Looking Back: Trains, Literature, and the Arts in the River Plate (Bucknell UP, 2010). Her publications on contemporary River Plate, Mexican, Spanish, and Latino theater have appeared in the journals Latin American Theatre Review, Gestos, Symposium: A Quarterly Journal in Modern Languages, and Hispanic Poetry Review, among many others. Additionally, Dr. Misemer’s work with the Latin American Theatre Review includes serving as the editor of its book series and on the editorial board of its journal. She is the past president and vice president of the Asociación Internacional de Literatura y Cultura Femenina Hispánica. Dr. Misemer holds a PhD in Spanish from the University of Kansas and has been a professor at Texas A&M since 2004.
The 18th annual Student Research Week was held March 25-27, 2015. The week-long celebration of student research is coordinated by the Graduate Student Council (GSC) and provides opportunities for students to present, either orally or in poster form, the research they have conducted as students here at Texas A&M University. Student Research Week helps foster a campus-wide culture of research and sets a high standard for student research by advertising the opportunities for inquiry at Texas A&M and inviting the university community to participate in this exciting endeavor.
The theme for Student Research Week 2015 was “Connecting Ideas,” emphasizing the need for interdisciplinary collaboration, finding and exploring common issues, and connecting the results of research with public concerns.
Student Research Week 2015 marks the first time that Undergraduate Leadership Scholars participated in the event. Two of the inaugural capstone members, supply chain management major, Hana Hoshiko ’16, and business honors and management double-major, Derek Allen McKee ‘16 presented posters describing the projects they developed as part of the capstone program, which is open to all Texas A&M undergraduates.
Student Research Week 2015 involved close to 1000 participants between competitors, judges and volunteers. There were 441 competitors that received scores, including 172 graduate students and 269 undergraduate students. This 61% undergraduate participation is the first time that undergraduate presentations have outnumbered graduate presentations. 151 of the 269 undergraduate participants in Student Research Week 2015 are students in programs run by Honors and Undergraduate Research. Not only did our students constitute a significant portion of undergraduate participants, they also took prizes in every subject area and were awarded 31 out of 103 (30%) of the undergraduate prizes. See the list below for details:
Astronomy, Chemistry, Physics, Material Sciences Oral
2nd – Colin Whisler, University Honors and Undergraduate Research Scholar
1st – Jose Roberto Dimas Valle, Undergraduate Research Scholar
2nd – Zachary Dell, Undergraduate Research Scholar
Biology, Microbiology, Molecular Biology, Biochemistry, Biophysics Oral
1st – Annalisa Erder, University Honors, Undergraduate Research Ambassador and Undergraduate Research Scholar
2nd – Michael Li, University Honors and Undergraduate Research Scholar
2nd – Christina Allen, Undergraduate Research Scholar
Earth Sciences, Geosciences, Water Resources Oral
1st – Amanda Walker, Undergraduate Research Scholar
1st – Coryn Collins, Undergraduate Research Scholar
Engineering, Architecture Oral
1st – Adekunle Adepoju, Undergraduate Research Scholar
2nd – Tasnim Mohamed, Undergraduate Research Scholar
2nd (tie) – Jack Reid, University Honors, Undergraduate Research Ambassador and Undergraduate Research Scholar
Health, Nutrition, Kinesiology, Physiology Oral
Laura Reid, Undergraduate Research Scholar
History, Literature, Fine Arts, Communication, Languages, Philosophy Oral
1st – Maci Greene, Undergraduate Research Scholar
2nd – Harry Zhang, University Honors Program
2nd (tie) – Kimberly Johnson, Undergraduate Research Scholar
2nd (tie) – Renee Costello, Undergraduate Research Scholar
Math, Statistics, Computer Science Poster
2nd – Zachary Varnadore, University Honors and Undergraduate Research Scholar
Medicine, Biomedical Engineering, Neuroscience Poster
1st (tie) – Colin Dodson, Undergraduate Research Scholar
1st (tie) – Iyan Younus, Undergraduate Research Ambassador and Undergraduate Research Scholar
Plant Sciences, Animal Sciences, Wildlife & Fisheries Science, Entomology, Agriculture, Ecological Restoration Oral
1st – Taylor Strange, Undergraduate Research Scholar
2nd – Lauren Naylor, University Honors
1st – Alexandria Payne, University Honors
2nd (tie) – Bryan Sales, Undergraduate Research Scholar
Psychology, Sociology, Anthropology, Business, Education, Political Science, Economics Oral 1st – Rebecca Mentzer, Undergraduate Research Scholar
2nd – Cameron Halbert, University Honors and Undergraduate Research Scholar
1st – Murphy Young, Undergraduate Research Scholar
2nd – Hunter Hampton, University Honors and Undergraduate Research Scholar
Glasscock Award Winners Oral
Taylor Laufenberg, Undergraduate Research Scholar
Hunter Hampton, University Honors and Undergraduate Research Scholar
Vice-President for Research Awards Oral
Adekunle Adepoju, Undergraduate Research Scholar
Taylor Strange, Undergraduate Research Scholar
Congratulations to all of the 2015 Student Research Week winners!
On Wednesday, August 6, over 100 undergraduate students presented the results of their summer research at the annual Summer Undergraduate Research Poster Sessions, held in the lobby of the Interdisciplinary Life Sciences building. The poster sessions, organized by Honors and Undergraduate Research (HUR), provide an opportunity for students who have spent their summer working under the research mentorship of TAMU faculty and graduate students to communicate their results to the campus community. Additional poster sessions were held by the College of Engineering for participants in their Undergraduate Summer Research Grants program.
For many undergraduate students, summer is an ideal time to become engaged in research. A variety of summer research programs, open both to Aggies and to students from other universities, provide immersive summer research experiences with the intent of encouraging students to continue their research activities during the regular semester and continue on to graduate school. These include 14 programs supported by the National Science Foundation’s Research Experiences for Undergraduates (NSF-REU) which attract students from across the country, the HUR and College of Liberal Arts-supported Glasscock Summer Scholars Program for students interested in humanities research, and the Aggie Research Scholars, an innovative and diverse program using peer research mentors sponsored by the Michael E. DeBakey Institute in the College of Veterinary Medicine.
Due to the popularity of summer research, this year for the first time the poster program was split into two sessions: a morning session comprised of posters in the physical sciences and engineering and an afternoon session comprised of posters in the life sciences, geosciences, and humanities. This change in the program schedule eased the crowding of the 2013 session which had a total of over 170 posters. The Summer 2014 Undergraduate Research Poster Sessions were a huge success and boasted a total of 117 posters presented by over 200 students. Please visit our online photo album to see pictures from both sessions!
Honors and Undergraduate Research provides support for summer undergraduate research programs run on the Texas A&M campus. The support provided by HUR includes coordination of social events, brown bag lectures, access to campus services, tours of research facilities, and the end-of-summer poster . Enrichment opportunities like this poster session are made possible through the generous support of the Association of Former Students. If you appreciate their support of programs like these, as we do, please let them know!
This summer nine students participated in a pilot program to promote broader participation in undergraduate research by students in the College of Liberal Arts. The program was co-sponsored by the Melbern G. Glasscock Center for Humanities Research and Honors and Undergraduate Research.
After attending a workshop on undergraduate research hosted by HUR, Dr. Sarah Misemer, Associate Director at the Glasscock Center, was surprised that there was little emphasis on undergraduate research in the humanities. Misemer along with Dr. Duncan MacKenzie, Associate Director of Honors and Undergraduate Research, fleshed out an idea for a pilot program to educate undergraduates on how to perform research in the humanities. MacKenzie was able to seed the pilot program with funds received from the Associate Provost for Undergraduate Studies, with a matching contribution from the Glasscock Center, using the Center’s research space and computer access.
The result was the Glasscock Summer Scholars program designed to give students one-on-one time with a professor to create an idea for a research project that they will continue to work on as a University Research Scholar’s thesis in the following academic year.
Over the summer two classes were formed: one, titled Biblical Criticism taught by Dr. Steve Oberhelman, Professor in the International Studies Department, and the other named After Combat taught by Dr. Marian Eide, Associate Professor in the English Department. Each class consisted of three to five students who spent four to five hours per day in the classroom for two weeks. This intense learning environment spurred the students to develop research ideas. For the remainder of the summer the students prepared a research proposal by consulting with their faculty advisors, analyzing primary literature, and participating in workshops sponsored by the University Writing Center.
Oberhelman’s students chose topics ranging from how the success of David’s Kingdom can be related to the peace process in the modern world to the issue of infallibility versus inerrancy. Eide’s students are studying the stories of veterans returning from war by examining how combat stories are told, creating literary criticisms, and writing their own short stories. The summer culminated in a Glasscock Scholars Symposium, where the students publicly presented their research proposals at the Glasscock Center.
Participants agreed that the Glasscock Summer Scholars program was a great success. “HUR and the Glasscock Center were able to bring a community of young scholars together in one area,” said Oberhelman. He went on to describe how the involvement of undergraduates in research was significantly enhanced through the in-depth learning experience: up to 40 hours/week in class, personal interaction with faculty and peer learning.
Both HUR and the Glasscock Center look forward to the continuation of unique programs like this. “Honors and Undergraduate Research was pleased to be able to provide support for this program in collaboration with the outstanding resources provided by the Glascock Center. Although undergraduate research in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) programs on campus traditionally has had strong financial support, students in humanities often have limited access to space and funding for in-depth research projects. We hope to be able to nurture more of a culture of undergraduate research in the humanities in the future with programs such as this,” said MacKenzie.