Tag Archives: science

Student Research Week 2017

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:


Jordan Lewallen, 1st Place Poster
Kendal Paige Ezell, 1st Place Oral
Kanika Gakhar, 2nd Place Oral

Lorna Min, 1st Place Poste
Sara Maynard 2nd Place Poster
Brooke Versace, 1st Place Oral
Miranda Apfel, 2nd Place Oral

Liberal Arts
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

Health Sciences
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

Provost Watson presents Josh Fuller ‘17 with a certificate of appreciation for his help with SRW 2017
Photo credit: Elizabeth Peterson

For more information about getting involved in undergraduate research, visit http://ugr.tamu.edu.


Planes, trains and flying automobiles

Texas A&M University senior, Emily Boster, has been named as a 2012 recipient of a $10,000 national award by the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation (ASF).  This award is given to 28 of the brightest and most promising students across the country with interests in science or engineering.

Boster has been recognized based on her outstanding achievements.  She has worked at the Astronomical Instrumentation Laboratory in Texas A&M’s Department of Physics and Astronomy, which has a larger role in developing and assembling tools such as VIRUS, an instrument which will be used by astronomers to understand dark energy, and components of the Giant Magellan Telescope, the world’s largest optical telescope.   Recently, she has developed her own research project on flying vehicles and will be participating in a research exchange program this summer at the Indian Institute of Technology in Kanpur.

Undergraduate research has played a major role in Boster’s educational and career path. “I wouldn’t be where I am today if I hadn’t become involved with research as a freshman at A&M. I switched to Aerospace Engineering only after being exposed to engineering and physics at TAMU’s Astronomical Instrumentation Lab,” she said.

Boster’s experience in Undergraduate Research through her work with Dr. Raktim Bhattacharya, Associate Professor in the Department of Aerospace Engineering, has helped solidify her interest in designing flying vehicles.

The goal of her project is to design a new type of flying machine that is configurable to meet various heavy lifting applications for civilian purposes. “The applications for such machines are limitless, ranging from disaster relief to parcel delivery to reconnaissance. We hope to develop the first prototype and we eventually hope to patent the design,” wrote Boster in her essay to the ASF.

She credits undergraduate research with opportunities she never thought were possible.  “My experiences in research have been the most important part of my education so far. They have helped me discover what I enjoy and what possibilities exist for my future,” Boster said.

The ASF scholarship opens many doors for its students, not only financially but also through its organization of industry-leading professionals and students.  “Other than the financial aspect, I am looking forward to being part of a network of the unique and innovative individuals that are part of the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation. I know I will be inspired by the people who I will come in contact with through ASF,” said Boster

Boster plans to graduate in fall 2013 and hopes to continue her studies by pursuing a graduate degree sometime in the future.  While Boster has not solidified her educational plans yet, she knows she would like to gain industry experience.  As for this fall, she plans to continue work in the Astronomical Instrumentation Laboratory and research on her autonomous vehicle.  Her future goals include creating “greener” technology for the planet, traveling to other countries to unite efforts in aerospace research, and the development of programs across Texas, especially in South Texas, to ignite a passion in students for engineering and sciences.

By Chrystina Rago, chrysrago@honors.tamu.edu