Research Tracks

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

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.
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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 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)

April 4, 2013
by Baylor OVPR
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OVPR Colloquium: Michigan Tech University scholar to present lecture on the history and human impact of atomic power

Baylor’s Department of Modern Foreign Languages welcomes Dr. Robert R. Johnson of Michigan Tech University for an OVPR-sponsored colloquium on Thursday, April 11.

Johnson, a professor of rhetoric, composition and technical communication in MTU’s Department of Humanities, will present a lecture on the topic of his recent book, “Romancing the Atom: Nuclear Infatuation from the Radium Girls to Fukushima.”  In the book, Johnson presents an account of atomic development over the last century and discusses the delicate balance between the human impacts of atomic technology and its scientific, military and economic benefits.

The event is free and open to the public.  For more information, please contact the Department of Modern Foreign Languages at 254-710-3711.

“Romancing the Atom: Nuclear Infatuation from the Radium Girls to Fukushima”

Thursday, April 11, 2013
3:30 – 5:00 p.m.
Baylor Sciences Building, room C.105

April 2, 2013
by Baylor OVPR
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Scholars Week Preview: Baylor senior explores theatrical representation of Rwanda genocide

URSA Scholars Week is coming soon!  As our annual celebration of undergraduate scholarship draws closer, we’ll be highlighting a few of the outstanding research projects our students will be presenting.  Click here to visit the URSA website for a complete schedule and more information about the event.

Senior University Scholars major Jake Abell has always had an interest in theatre. While his current academic emphasis has shifted toward studying French, he continues to explore the way people from different cultures express themselves through creative narrative works.

While studying abroad in France, Abell became interested in French-speaking cultures in eastern Africa, which led him to pursue a research project on a theatrical responses to the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.

In collaboration with Dr. Holly Collins, an assistant professor in the Department of Modern Foreign Languages, Abell has undertaken an analysis of “Rwanda 94,” a multimedia theatrical presentation written and performed by native Rwandans in conjunction with French-speaking European artists. Abell and Collins are co-authoring an article on “Rwanda 94” which they will submit to a peer-reviewed journal.

While there have been a number of dramatic and narrative productions in response to the Rwanda genocide, Abell says that “Rwanda 94” is unique not only for the indigenous perspective of its authors, but also for the variety of forms used to present different viewpoints on atrocity. “The form of the play pushes the boundaries of theatre by including projected images, journalistic reports and poetic recitations,” says Abell. “My argument is that the play uses these forms to create a dramatic dialect representing the different motivations of Rwandan and outside observers of the genocide.”

Abell is just one of the students who will be presenting short lectures on their research at Scholars Week’s oral presentations on April 8 and 9 in the Bill Daniel Student Center.  Poster sessions will take place April 10 and 11 in the Baylor Science Building.  All URSA Scholars Week events are free and open to the public.