Research Tracks

A publication of the Office of the Vice Provost for Research at Baylor University

April 20, 2015
by Baylor OVPR
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URSA recognizes support of undergraduate research with annual Awards in Excellence and Service

The Undergraduate Research and Scholarly Achievement (URSA) Steering Committee, along with the Office of the Vice Provost for Research, have announced the recipients of the 2015 URSA Awards in Excellence and Service. The awards are presented annually to faculty, students and administrators whose hard work has helped to enhance and expand the research opportunities available to Baylor undergraduate students.

The award recipients will be recognized at URSA’s annual award ceremony on Wednesday at 12:00 noon.  The winners of this year’s outstanding Scholars Week presentations and posters will also be honored at the event.

Please join the OVPR and URSA in congratulating these award recipients and thanking them for their service to Baylor! Continue Reading →

December 3, 2014
by Baylor OVPR
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Baylor research helps provide resolution to families of missing immigrants found near the border

Stevie Hope, a 2014 Baylor anthropology graduate, and Cole Lindeberg, a senior anthropology major, work to exhume an unmarked grave at a cemetery in South Texas.

Stevie Hope, a 2014 Baylor anthropology graduate, and Cole Lindeberg, a senior anthropology major, work to exhume an unmarked grave at a cemetery in South Texas.

Every year hundreds of immigrants attempt to cross over the United States’ southern border; the road is long and arduous and for many it proves to be fatal. Many of the deceased do not bare any pieces of identification, so when they are discovered, the authorities have now way to return their remains to their families; consequently, the bodies are buried in unmarked graves. These disappearances unfortunately leave many families with questions and without resolution as to whether or not their loved one died crossing. For a select group of Baylor of students, led by Associate Professor of Anthropology Dr. Lori Baker, the opportunity to meet a humanitarian need while doing research for their field of study is highly appreciated. With that need in mind, every year Baker and her students travel to locations near the border in South Texas to recover and identify the bodies of those who died crossing over, so that their remains may be returned to their families.

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Baylor anthropologists make first positive identification of remains in Brooks County

June 11, 2014 by Baylor OVPR | 0 comments

In this report from KSAT-TV San Antonio, Baylor anthropologist Dr. Lori Baker discusses the work she and a team of students have undertaken to identify the bodies of undocumented immigrants in Brooks County, Texas.  Baker, an associate professor of anthropology in Baylor’s College of Arts and Sciences, leads Reuniting Families, an organization she started with the goal of recovering and identifying the remains of immigrants who died while attempting to cross into the United States.

Baker and her team recently made their first positive identification in Brooks County, determining the identity of a female from Honduras who was buried in a cemetery in Falfurrias, Texas, a small town approximately 160 miles south of San Antonio.

Learn more about this research:

April 29, 2014
by Baylor OVPR
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URSA honors top student research from 2014 Scholars Week

The 2014 edition of Scholars Week was one of the largest ever, with 165 students presenting the results of their independent research and scholarly activities.  The event included two days of platform presentations and two days of poster sessions where students had the chance to present their research findings to their peers.  The OVPR thanks the Undergraduate Research and Scholarly Achievement (URSA) Steering Committee as well as students involved in Baylor Undergraduate Research in Science & Technology (BURST) for all their hard work.

This year, for the first time, the URSA Steering Committee and Baylor University Libraries presented awards for the most outstanding platform presentations.  Library staff attended each presentation and selected the most outstanding student research in four divisions: Arts and humanities, nursing, social science and STEM.

As in previous years, the top research posters in a number of departments were recognized by faculty with outstanding poster designations.  The anthropology, biology, environmental science, geology, physics and psychology & neuroscience departments, along with the Louise Herrington School of Nursing, recognized top posters presented by students mentored by their faculty.  These posters are currently on display in the walkway between the Moody and Jones libraries.  The exhibition will continue through commencement weekend, May 16 and 17.

Click “Continue Reading” to see a full list of outstanding platform presentations and posters from Scholars Week 2014.
Continue Reading →

April 28, 2014
by Baylor OVPR
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URSA presents 2014 Awards in Excellence and Service

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Dr. Truell Hyde, Baylor University’s vice provost for research, presents the URSA Exceptional Service Award to Dr. Elizabeth Davis, Baylor University’s executive vice president and provost.

Last week, the Undergraduate Research and Scholarly Achievement (URSA) Steering Committee, along with the Office of the Vice Provost for Research, presented the 2014 URSA Awards in Excellence and Service.  The awards recognize faculty, students and administrators who have made meaningful contributions to undergraduate research at Baylor.

At a special ceremony in the Bill Daniel Student Center, URSA presented the Exceptional Service Award, Mentors of the Year Awards and the Leadership Award in Undergraduate Research.  In addition to presenting these awards, the committee also presented certificates to students who presented the most outstanding platform presentations and posters at Scholars Week 2014 (Click here to check out more pictures from the event on the OVPR Facebook page).

Please join the OVPR and URSA in congratulating these award recipients and thanking them for their service to Baylor!
Continue Reading →

May 21, 2013
by Baylor OVPR
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Video: Baylor faculty and students use forensic science techniques to identify undocumented remains

Dr. Lori Baker, an associate professor of anthropology, uses forensic science techniques to attempt to identify remains of undocumented immigrants buried in unmarked graves near the U.S.-Mexico border.  Baker says that hundreds of immigrants die each year while trying to enter the United States, and many are never identified, leaving their families with no information about their fate.

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May 16, 2013
by Baylor OVPR
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URSA ceremony honors contributions to undergraduate research

The OVPR and the Undergraduate Research and Scholarly Achievement (URSA) steering committee sponsored the first-ever URSA awards ceremony this month. Dr. Truell Hyde, vice provost for research, presented plaques and certificates honoring administrators, faculty and students who have contributed to the growth of undergraduate research at Baylor.

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May 14, 2013
by Baylor OVPR
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University Research Committee announces recipients of FY 2014 small and mid-range grants

The OVPR and the University Research Committee are proud to announce the results of the 2014 URC Small and Mid-Range Grant Programs.  These grants are intended to expand Baylor faculty members’ research capacity by providing support for research or creative activities in any academic area.

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May 3, 2013
by Baylor OVPR
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OVPR announces URSA Small Grant Program awards for FY 2014

The Office of the Vice Provost for Research and the Undergraduate Research & Scholarly Achievement Steering Committee are proud to announce the results of the FY 2014 URSA Small Grants program. URSA Small Grants provide funding to faculty mentors who support undergraduate students conducting independent research or scholarship in their field.

Undergraduate students Josh Flores, Gabrielle Leonard, Rachel Calhoun, and Chris Gerac field questions from the audience following their presentation at the 2013 Scholars Week event.

Students who participate in URSA-funded research have the opportunity to work alongside graduate students and faculty on research projects that expand knowledge and help to solve real-world problems. Through exposure to research, students develop skills in critical thinking, problem solving and data analysis that make them better prepared to pursue graduate, medical or professional education after college. URSA-funded students also have the chance to hone their communication and presentation skills by participating in URSA Scholars Week, an annual campus-wide celebration of undergraduate scholarship (click here to read more Research Tracks coverage from the 2013 Scholars Week).

Please join the OVPR in congratulating each of this year’s URSA Small Grant recipients!

FY 2014 Undergraduate Research & Scholarly Achievement Small Grants Program

Dr. Tamarah Adair
Senior Lecturer, Department of Biology
College of Arts & Sciences
Variation of the effect of blue light on different strains of Staphylococus aureus
Abstract (PDF)

Dr. Lori Baker
Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology
College of Arts & Sciences
Morphometric and Biogeochemical Skeletal Analysis of Deceased Undocumented Border Crossers
Abstract (PDF)

Dr. Donna Burnett
Assistant Professor, Department of Family & Consumer Sciences
College of Arts & Sciences
Why College Students Gain Weight: A Qualitative Investigation
Abstract (PDF)

Dr. Clay Butler
Senior Lecturer, English Department
College of Arts & Sciences
Managing Conflict Talk
Abstract (PDF)

Dr. Pat Danley
Assistant Professor, Biology Department
College of Arts & Sciences
The Genetic Basis of Conspecific Aggression in Lake Malawi Cichlid Fishes
Abstract (PDF)

Dr. Nathan Elkins
Assistant Professor, Department of Art, Art History
College of Arts & Sciences
Coinage and Power in the Reign of Nerva (AD 96-97)
Abstract (PDF)

Dr. Shelby Garner
Lecturer, Louise Herrington School of Nursing
Picture This! The Use of Photovoice to Illuminate Perceived Challenges and Rewards of Nursing Identified by Future Nurses in Bangaluru, India
Abstract (PDF)

Dr. Karol Hardin
Assistant Professor, Department of Modern Foreign Languges
College of Arts & Sciences
An Analysis of Spanish Language and Culture Education for Health Care Personnel
Abstract (PDF)

Dr. Bill Hockaday
Assistant Professor, Geology Department
College of Arts & Sciences
An Analysis of Sampling Techniques for Particulate Organic Matter and Implications for Understanding River Carbon Cycling
Abstract (PDF)

Dr. Bob Kane
Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry
College of Arts & Sciences
Characterization of Islet Surface Modification Chemistry
Abstract (PDF)

Dr. Joaquin Lugo
Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology & Neuroscience
College of Arts & Sciences
Pharmacological Optimization of Learning and Memory
Abstract (PDF)

Dr. Kevin Pinney
Professor, Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry
College of Arts & Sciences
Structure Activity Relationship Studies Related to Small-Molecule Tubulin Binding Analogues
Abstract (PDF)

May 2, 2013
by Baylor OVPR
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URSA honors outstanding posters from 2013 Scholars Week

Top undergraduate research posters from 2013 URSA Scholars Week are on display in the corridor between Moody and Jones Libraries through commencement weekend.

Last month, over 180 Baylor undergrads presented results of their independent research at URSA Scholars Week, a four-day celebration of undergraduate research sponsored by the OVPR and the Undergraduate Research and Scholarly Achievement (URSA) steering committee (click here to read more Research Tracks coverage of the 2013 Scholars Week event).

This week, the departments of anthropology, biology, chemistry & biochemistry, environmental science, physics and psychology & neuroscience have recognized the top Scholars Week posters from their disciplines.

The top posters from these six departments are on display in the corridor between Moody and Jones libraries.  The posters will remain on display through commencement weekend, May 17 and 18, thanks to an arrangement between URSA, the Baylor Libraries, and Baylor Undergraduate Research in Science and Technology (BURST), a student organization dedicated to promoting independent research among undergraduates.  Students and faculty mentors involved with these projects will be honored at an upcoming awards ceremony sponsored by the OVPR and URSA.

Click “Continue Reading” to see the full list of outstanding research posters from these departments.

Continue Reading →