130 students showcase undergraduate research at State Capitol
April 22, 2015
The impact of exercise on balance in the aging population; the blurring line between human and artificial intelligence; the value of opera-outreach to young children getting their first taste of the genre and maybe even theatre itself.
Those are just three of the undergraduate research and scholarly topics among the dozens that UW System students and faculty research mentors showcased at the 12th annual “Posters in the Rotunda” event on Wednesday, April 22, which included work from eight UW-River Falls students.
State legislators joined the UW System and institutional leaders in welcoming 130 students and nearly 90 faculty mentors to the State Capitol rotunda. There, undergraduates from the UW System’s 26 campuses set up poster displays and shared the findings of their diverse research subjects which, in many cases, are the culmination of multiple academic years of study and collaboration with faculty mentors and community partners throughout Wisconsin.
“I want to focus on why undergraduate research is important,” said Katherine Jinkins of Rewey, Wisconsin, a UW-Platteville engineering physics major with a minor in microsystems and nanotechnology, who presented her research on humidity’s effect on a substance called “graphene,” which shows promise in touchscreen applications for smartphones. “I’ve had great experience with [undergraduate research], and I want to make sure that other people are able to have that experience as well.”
UW System President Ray Cross welcomed students, faculty members and other guests at the 12th annual posters event. The event kicked off at 9:30 a.m. with welcome remarks and a special recognition of co-sponsors Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce and the Wisconsin Technology Council.
Posters remained on display until 3 p.m. in the Capitol Rotunda.
The UW System has earned a national reputation as a leader in undergraduate research, which contributes to the state’s priorities, including retention, graduate rates, and workforce and economic development.
“With every year, and at every UW System institution, research becomes a more essential part of our students’ experience and success, and Wisconsin grows and benefits, too,” Cross said.“Research—particularly undergraduate research featured at this event—enhances learning and quality of life for tens of thousands of students. With faculty mentors, students take to laboratories on our campuses. They partner with schools, nonprofits and enterprises, be they on factory floors or in farm fields. They achieve breakthroughs and develop solutions for Wisconsin’s diverse communities.”
Just a few of the other research projects showcased on April 22 include:
“Early Literacy Screening: Comparing PALS-K with Computerized Assessments,” presented by UW-Eau Claire student Reese Butterfuss of Tomah, Wisconsin. Seven Eau Claire students participated in the event.
“Exercise Programming and its Effect with Balance in the Aging Population,” presented by UW-Stevens Point students Paige Albrecht of Marshfield, Wisconsin; Danae Daellenbach of Stoughton, Wisconsin; Rachel Popelka of Stillwater, Minnesota; Cassandra Salmen of Stevens Point. All of the students are athletic training majors.
“The Issue of Race: Parents’ Perspectives on African-American Males’ School Experiences,” presented by UW-Milwaukee student Rachel Johnson, who combined her interests in Africology and psychology in the project. Milwaukee is also hosting the 14th annual UW System Symposium for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity on April 24.
More information on the “Posters in the Rotunda” is available at www.wisconsin.edu/posters.