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Students present research at national undergrad conference

April 28, 2011

UW-River Falls sent 92 students to present research at the National Conference of Undergraduate Research, or NCUR, in Ithaca College, N.Y., from March 31 to April 2.

This was the third largest delegation behind Ithaca College and Cornell University.

NCUR was established in 1987 and is dedicated to promoting undergraduate research, scholarship and creativity in all fields of study by hosting an annual conference each year. This year, UWRF students and faculty chartered their own plane and traveled to New York for the conference.

“I’ve never been prouder to represent UWRF academics then last week,” said Janae Lyon, a psychology major that attended the NCUR conference.

Along with two other teammates, Lyon presented a research study on “Distractor Devaluation and the Effect of Face Inversion.” The research was based on a poll that random people took where they had to choose a picture of a face and explain why they chose it.

“We formed our research off of a previously conducted scholarly article,” Lyon said. After conducting the study, Lyon had to send her compiled research the NCUR as an application to the conference.

Timothy Lyden, a biology professor and the faculty advisor for the Society for Undergraduate research, Scholarly, and Creative Activities, or SURSCA, says that UWRF is well known at the NCUR conferences.

“UWRF students always present great research, we have a good, respectable reputation each year at NCUR,” said Lyden.

Lyon said she thinks it was a great decision for her, or any student, to submit research to NCUR.

“When I first heard about NCUR I thought it would be a great opportunity to get noticed in the world of research. It was a great experience and the other presenters opened my eyes to a lot of different methods,” Lyon said.

Lyon said she feels that attending the conference will help advance her career in psychology, and make her more competitive in the job world.

NCUR brings in graduate programs to talk to the students presenting research.

“It’s kind of a graduate school fair,” Lyon said.

NCUR has been held in Wisconsin twice. In 2002, it was held at UW-Whitewater and in 2009 it was held at UW-La Crosse.

Lyden said he hopes that UW-River Falls will be picked to host it within the next couple of years.

“UWRF was the third largest group of students to present this year. Hopefully that will get us recognized that we have a lot of intelligent students here, driven to provide research and scholarly material,” Lyden said.

UWRF students and faculty have traveled as far as San Rafael, Calif., to present research. Lyden also said that there were students from Hawaii and Alaska that attended the conference.

“NCUR is a big deal. If you get the chance to attend, you should really take advantage of the opportunity,” Lyden said.