By TODD GOTTULA
KEARNEY – Undergraduate research is reaching new levels of success at the University of Nebraska at Kearney.
In what is believed to be a first in school history, 100 percent of UNK’s student applicants were recently accepted to present at this spring’s National Conference on Undergraduate Research. The April 6-8 event at University of Memphis showcases the best undergraduate research in the nation.
Twenty-five students were selected to represent UNK at the esteemed event, which brings together more than 3,000 students and their faculty mentors.
“This is a real source of pride for us,” said John Falconer in the Office of Undergraduate Research & Creative Activity. “The national acceptance rate for this conference is 90 percent, and we are well above that. It indicates the quality of our student projects, and it shows our students are above average, high caliber researchers.”
NCUR provides students the opportunity to present their scholarly research in a professional setting and interact with their peers, in addition to meeting with graduate school and corporate recruiters.
“It is really a capstone of their research experience,” Falconer said of the conference. “It builds confidence in our students. When they get in front of similar people with similar interests and goals, that light comes on and they realize they’ve been doing something worthwhile.”
At UNK, undergraduates conduct original research, scholarship and creative activity in all disciplines. Each year an average of 1,500 UNK students work with faculty mentors to develop and conduct scholarly projects.
Students present their projects on campus twice yearly through the Fall Student Research Symposium and Student Research Day hosted in the spring.
“Outside of the classroom, we often list three or four activities that make the biggest difference in a student’s college experience,” Falconer said. “Number one is undergraduate research because it offers so much, from learning the content of your discipline more, learning to work and solve problems independently and so many other things that aren’t always in a textbook.”
Falconer said discussion with UNK students about undergraduate research often begins before they even arrive on campus.
“It’s a point of emphasis,” he said. “We start talking to prospective students when they’re still in high school. It’s important to get them thinking about research right away. Then, once they are here, we like to get them involved early on with shadowing an older student, doing literature reviews and a basic orientation toward understanding the process.”
UNK students accepted to present at NCUR, listed by hometown with title of research also included:
Ashland – Melody Morwitzer, “High Glucose Activated Polyamine Pathway Enhances Breast Cancer Cell Proliferation.”
Broken Bow – Andrew Flint, Discovery Of Amino Avid Bioisosteres That Are Transported by Tthe LAT1 Protein for Use in Drug Delivery.”
Columbus – Megan Humlicek, “Marked for Life: The Far Reaching Impact of Parental Military Deployment on Young Adults.”
Columbus – Megan Naylor, “Color Word Naming and Identification of Adults.”
Dodge – Amanda Evert, “Parental Speech, Language & Attention Concerns of Children Born Preterm.”
Fremont – Seth Springer, “Negishi Coupling Reactions of Oxazolidinone-Protected Amino Acids.”
Gibbon – Micah Stall, “National Study on High School Athletic Practice/Even Emergency Action Plans.”
Grand Island – Sherah Dickinson, “Police Assisting Addicts Towards Recovery.”
Grand Island – Molly Moeller, “Social Media Takeover: Exploring the Role of Attachment.”
Holdrege – Megan Hunke, “Synthesis and Characterization of Antinociceptive Properties of Novel Derivatives of the Active Compound, Incarvillateine, from the Chines Herb (Incarvillateine Sinesis).”
Kearney – Loren Carrica, “Peter Vs. Charles: The Russian Peter the Great Vs. Charles XII of Sweden in the Great Northern War.”
Kearney – Stephanie Duennerman, “Employee Engagement: Influenced by Supervisor Affect and Psychological Ownership.”
Kearney – Breanna Hiner, “Campus Survival: An Examination of Sexual Assault Services on Single-Sex Campuses.”
Kearney – Callen Maupin, “Outcomes Measures for Post-Surgical Shoulder Rehabilitation.”
Kearney – Lauren Messbarger, “Examining the Effects of Screen Time on Biopsychosocial Aspects of Health.”
Kearney – Jordyn Randall, “Can Pornography Consumption be Beneficial for Romantic Relationships?”
Lavista – Zachery Lau, “The War of The Two Kings: The Williamite War In Ireland of 1689 and the Formation of Parliamentary Sovereignty.”
Lincoln – Claire Dull, “Effects of Aging, Fall History, and Fear of Falling on Lower Extremity Muscular Strength and Muscle Architectural Characteristics.”
North Platte – Tessa Burford, “Daisy Buchanan: The Forces of Feminism.”
Ogallala – Evan Folk, “Characterization of Electroactive Polymer Langmuir Films.”
Omaha – Kylie Kenedy, “Perception of Body Weight.”
Omaha – Andrew Riesenberg, “Effects of Pet Ownership on Empathy.”
Phillips – Deavon Carey, “Do Siblings Know Best? The Role of Sibling Approval for Romantic Relationships.”
Scottsbluff – Spencer Gowin, “Internet of Things Lock Box.”
Sterling – Katelyn Unvert, “RNA-Metal Interactions and Their Effects On Life.”
Abstracts of UNK students selected for the National Conference on Undergraduate Research