Fall Undergraduate Research Day set for Sept. 20

    September 13, 2012

    Students at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater are conducting research on everything from social media to soil cultivation.

    On Thursday, Sept. 20, they will present their findings at fall Undergraduate Research Day.

    More than 40 students from all four colleges will be participating in the event, 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. in the James R. Connor University Center Hamilton Room.

    "Many of the research projects this year focus on community impacts and partnerships," said Catherine Chan, undergraduate research program director. "We're also seeing more interdisciplinary projects in which students see that in order to solve problems, they need to think outside the box. They can't be limited to one area."

    Topics cover the gamut of academic disciplines, from the effects of wastewater on fish, to the struggles of African American women living with AIDS, to food deserts in Wisconsin.

    One student traveled to Yellowstone National Park to track and catalog grizzly bears. Another student investigated barriers preventing Mexican immigrants from pursuing a college degree.

    "Students who do undergraduate research tend to see themselves in a different light. They are working with a faculty mentor - a professional scholar - on a topic they feel passionate about," Chan said.

    Many of the students presenting are McNair Scholars - first-generation and multicultural students who intend to earn doctorate degrees and plan careers as college professors.

    "They become more confident making presentations and answering questions from their peers," said Samantha Samreth, McNair Scholars program director. "They are thinking critically about the world and finish their projects excited to continue learning."

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