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Record Number of ASU Students Selected for National Conferences for Undergraduate Research

Senior chemistry major Katie Estridge is one of 30 students at Appalachian State University who have been selected to present their research and/or creative endeavors at the National Conferences for Undergraduate Research at Weber State University in Utah March 29-31. Here, Estridge uses high performance liquid chromatography coupled mass spectrometry to detect and quantify estrogens in water samples. Photo by Marie Freeman.

March 4, 2012. BOONE — Thirty students from Appalachian State University, the most ever for the university, have been selected to participate in this year’s National Conferences for Undergraduate Research to be held in Ogden, Utah, March 29-31. The event will be held at Weber State University. 

“This is a record number of abstracts that have been accepted from Appalachian since the Office of Student Research was created in 2005, which is especially impressive for these students and their faculty mentors given that typically 40 percent of the submitted abstracts are rejected,” said Dr. Alan Utter, director of the Office of Student Research. 

The ASU students will present research and creative endeavors they have pursued with faculty mentors. The students represent diverse academic areas, including chemistry, music, psychology, biology, physics, health, leisure and exercise science, economics, history and math.

A total of 20 students were selected last year. 

The opportunity to conduct research or creative endeavors alongside their professors is a hallmark of the Appalachian experience. Students’ work is showcased at professional conferences in the region and across the United States, which are considered critical opportunities to their success in pursuing graduate school or careers in today’s marketplace.

“Our department is focused on undergraduate research, beginning as early as the sophomore year, because it is so important in preparing our students for graduate programs, making them more competitive for the best jobs and developing strong critical thinking, written and oral skills,” said Dr. Claudia Cartaya-Marin, chair of the A.R. Smith Department of Chemistry. Her department has 12 students headed to NCUR this year, the most of any area on campus.

This year’s presenters at NCUR are:  Alexander Alberti, music; Meredith Anderson, music; Curtis Blaser, chemistry; John Boatright, music; Rachel Bradley, biology; Darren Brady, chemistry; Emily Brown, health, leisure and exercise science; Jenna Cantrell, math and business; Marcus Collins, psychology; Alexis Dale, chemistry; Rawley Eichorst, psychology; Kate Estridge, chemistry; Christopher Eubanks, chemistry; Zachary Gilbert, chemistry; Amber Harold, chemistry; Jared Harris, chemistry; Timothy Hines, psychology; Stacey Hughes, chemistry; Brannon Kling, music; Emily Long, history; Ellie McCabe, chemistry; Shawn Milloway, music; Allysa Nance, music; Christina Naylor, music; Margaret Pray, biology; Alex Reidinger, music; Nicole Reilly, chemistry; Luke Robertson, physics; Lindsey Vickers, music; and Alicia Woock, chemistry.

In April, the students will present their work on campus during the 15th Annual Celebration of Student Research and Creative Endeavors, which will held April 19 in Plemmons Student Union.

The NCUR began at the University of North Carolina at Asheville in 1987 to encourage undergraduate research and creativity in partnership with faculty or other mentors.  More than 400 participants attended the first conference, which now hosts about 2,000 participants each year to present their research through posters, oral presentations, visual arts and performances. A different college or university hosts the event each year.

For more information about student research at Appalachian, contact Utter at utterac@appstate.edu or 828-262-3094.  For more information about the NCUR, visit www.ncur.org.