Undergraduate research forum Nov. 19

Kara McIntyre

UnderGradResearch_webWith 48 presentations and 101 presenters, students from freshman to seniors make final preparations for the fall Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity Forum on Nov. 19.

Director of Undergraduate Research Magaly Rincón-Zachary folds her hands on her desk and smiles as she discusses the forum and its goals.

“The forum is a venue for all students involved in doing research or doing creative works to showcase what they have done during the semester within EURECA, UGROW, and independent studies,” Rincón-Zachary said. “But not all of the presenters are from the EURECA program. One of the objectives is to spread the research outside of EURECA, funded or non-funded, and we managed to do that.”

English junior Andrea Mendoza-Lespron, who is presenting a poster with her group on violence against women in Hispanic countries, has been working on this since August and plans to continue collecting data and research next semester.

I am excited about the forum. This has been an amazing semester,” Mendoza-Lespron said. “I have learned so much about Honduras, about gender violence in general, and about gathering and analyzing information. Also, my mentors and teammates have been fantastic, and I believe our work will show how well we work together.”

Rincón-Zachary has been working with students and mentors since the beginning of the semester, and often even previous semesters.

“Some students are doing continuing projects, so every semester they have new pieces of information to add. Some of the students have been working for multiple semesters,” Rincón-Zachary said. “It takes time, and hopefully at the end when they put it all together, they will be published. This gives students a chance to gain experience on how to present their findings and how to be professional about it.”

Rincón-Zachary grins as she reveals that spring and fall 2015 have had the largest numbers for the Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity Forum.

“EURECA is kind of like the seed of a flower and the research just keeps growing and growing from that,” Rincón-Zachary said. “It’s a lot of work, but it is rewarding. The students are having a good time and seeing the fruits of their hard work paying off.”

The presentations, both oral and poster, begin at 9 a.m. and continue until 3:30 p.m. in Kiowa, Comanche Suites, and the Atrium.

“I have been encouraging friends to come, learn, and give us moral support, so I hope to see a good number of people,” Mendoza-Lespron said. “It will be a big event, and students should be motivated to assist and participate.”


EURECA – Enhancing Undergraduate Research Endeavors and Creative Activities

UGROW – Undergraduate Research Opportunities and Summer Workshop


After the poster and oral presentations, faculty members selected one of each from each participating college for recognition.

Prothro-Yeager College of Humanities & Social Sciences

Best Oral Presentation: Fort Hood Free Grazers: Central Texas Cattle Ranchers and the Role of Federal Government in the Economic Development of the Post-War American West. Kristen Johnson. Mentor: Leland Turner, History

Best Poster: The Death of Ivan Ilyich and Other Stories. Alicia Ward and Jonathan Henderson. Mentor: Kirsten Lodge, English, Humanities, and Philosophy

West College of Education

Best Oral Presentation: Integrating Children’s Literature in Elementary Math Methods: Fostering Understandings and Connections. Melissa Whitwood and Nikki Bussue. Mentor: Dittika Gupta, Education

Best Poster: Elementary Students Get A Bit Fit. Samantha Scott and Macy Miles. Mentor: Stacia Miller, Kinesiology

Dillard College of Business Administration

Best Oral Presentation: Factors Driving Down Oil Prices: Implication for the North Texas Regional Economy. Curtis Knobloch. Mentors: John Martinez and Robert Forrester, Economics and Finance

Best Poster: Turning up the heat on volunteer motivation: A study examining what makes America’s most famous triple digit weather bike race so attractive for its’ volunteers. Adam Likeness and Aubrey Kass Mentor(s): Niyati Kataria and Jeff Stambaugh, Management and Marketing

College of Science and Mathematics

Best Oral Presentation: A Pneumatic Dome Shaped Active Road Rumble. Daniel Goodey, Donnie Hudnell, Austin Fidlar, Varuna Denawakage Don, and Ronell Pemberton Mentor: Salim Azzouz, McCoy School of Engineering

Best Poster (Tie): Feedback Control of a Multi-DOF Robot using Bluetooth. Huiluo Chen and Xitong Li.Mentor: Yu Guo, McCoy School of Engineering AND Design and Development of an Atmospheric Satellite Michael Arthur Olaya and Sean Egloff. Mentor: Yu Guo, McCoy School of Engineering, College of Science and Mathematics

Gunn College of Health Sciences & Human Services

Best Poster: Stress Management Among Undergraduate Social Work Students. Charles Staats, Kelsey Denne, Isaac Esquivel, Kim Jones, and Kathryn Miser Mentor: Packiaraj Arumugham, Social Work