Yesterday, the university hosted its largest undergraduate research festival to date.
About 125 presentations were given throughout the day, said Dr. Autumn Sutherlin, director of undergraduate research.
This was about 30 more presentations than last year’s festival, Sutherlin said.
The purpose of the festival is to give students the opportunity to present the work the put into researching.
“Research in and of itself is good, but unless you communicate it to someone else it loses some of its value,” Sutherlin said.
Provost Dr. Robert Rhodes echoed Sutherlin in his speech before the awards were announced.
“The reason the Dead Sea is dead is because water flows in, but nothing ever flows out,” Rhodes said. “The same is true for education.”
Each presentation recognized as an outstanding piece received a prize of $100.
There were five categories of presentations, three oral and two poster:
o Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)
o Social Science
o Arts and Humanities
o Social Science/Arts and Humanities
There were 14 total presentations recognized as outstanding. Three were from each category, except for Social Science/Arts and Humanities poster, which had only two.
Nigel Gwini’s poster presentation End Group Functionalization of Di-block Polymers Used in Making pH-Activatable Nanoprobes was recognized as outstanding in the STEM category.
Being recognized was both fulfilling and surprising, Gwini said.
“I spent 10 weeks working on this presentation. So, it was fulfilling to be recognized, but I did not expect it.” Gwini said. “There were some really good posters.”
Sutherlin said this year marked the festival’s sixth year of operation and exhibited steady growth in the quantity and quality of the presentations.
She said an undergraduate research festival such as this is common among larger universities, but is unique to ACU in comparison to similarly sized universities.
For the third year, McMurry University students also participated in the festival. Sutherlin said the Office of Undergraduate Research looks to continue to expand the festival into a regional event.
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