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18th annual Undergraduate Research Forum April 11

04/05/2012

Erin LeGalley and Mark Krekeler
More than 400 Miami University undergraduate students from all disciplines will present their faculty-mentored research at the annual Undergraduate Research Forum to be held at Shriver Center Wednesday, April 11.

Attendees can talk to students about their research findings at one of three interactive poster sessions in the Shriver multipurpose rooms. The morning poster session runs 10 - 11:30 a.m., and two afternoon sessions will be held 1:30 - 2:45 p.m. and from 3 - 4:15 p.m.

Between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., 34 students will present individual 15-minute oral summaries of their work in a variety of locations at Shriver Center.
View the complete schedule online.

According to Martha Weber, OARS undergraduate research coordinator, “The student and faculty mentor collaboration encourages students to construct an evidence-based understanding of how a particular research study contributes something original to the scholarship of that area and why that contribution matters.”

“Student researchers begin to construct their own understanding of ‘how to learn’ the context of their research area through interactions with experienced researchers,” Weber added.

Two examples:
Erin LeGalley, a senior geology and environmental science double major, will present her work on studying coal pollution in Hamilton. She began working with Mark Krekeler, assistant professor of geology, on various projects as a freshman when she took his environmental geology course as part of the Miami Plan and loved it.

Now, a Miami undergraduate summer scholar, LeGalley has received funding and stipends to continue her research. She plans to go on to graduate school, teach and continue her research.

Krekeler believes LeGalley can go anywhere she wants with respect to graduate school. “We work really closely to build the writing skills, the library skills, as well as the analytical skills (of our students).”

Nicole Fisher, a sophomore engineering management and business economics double major, will present her work on Project High Flight, a high-altitude balloon project led by Bob Setlock, clinical faculty member in mechanical and manufacturing engineering.

“I was really excited that there was a creative component to this engineering project because it meant to me that this was a lot more than just technical design and engineering principals that we learn in class. This was really taking what we’ve learned and applying it to the outside world.”

More than 2,000 undergraduates work with faculty on funded research each year. By the time they are seniors, 32 percent of students report having worked on a research project.

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