Undergraduates to present research at Statehouse

BOWLING GREEN, O.—A busload of young scholars from northwest Ohio will be heading for Columbus this week to present their research to state lawmakers and Frances Strickland, wife of Gov. Ted Strickland. The event is the third annual Posters at the Capitol, showcasing the work of Ohio undergraduate researchers. It will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday (April 15) in the Ohio Statehouse Atrium. The program is modeled on the national Council on Undergraduate Research’s “Posters on the Hill” event in Washington, D.C.

Among the 47 regional students participating will be 13 undergraduates from BGSU. Their scholarship ranges across all disciplines from the University including, the social sciences, art, history, political science and education, to biology, chemistry and astronomy, as well as aviation studies. The student participants will share their work directly with legislators, their staff, state agency personnel and visitors.

In addition to promoting the benefits of academic scholarship, there are direct real-world applications for much of the work. For example, Jillian Urig, working with Dr. Rebecca Pobocik, has learned that nine Ohio school districts do not meet federal school lunch standards. Rebecca Szparagowski and Adam Kaverman have studied the impact of concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) on the water quality in the Portage River Watershed. A undergraduate team, consisting of Jonathan Ketron, Daniel Spaugy and Craig Schlater, has surveyed eco-friendly practices at Ohio airports.

According to President Carol Cartwright, the showcase “underscores the increased awareness and importance that Bowling Green State University and other Ohio institutions of higher learning place on undergraduate student research.” She added it has “the potential to fundamentally transform Ohio’s business and economic climate” at a time when the economic downturn necessitates a shift from traditional manufacturing to the production of knowledge and educated citizens well prepared for the future work world.

Student research also strengthens the individual's educational experience, she said, by linking classroom learning to the larger concerns of the world, which is a focus of BGSU’s new Connecting the Undergraduate Experience initiative. This new curriculum is designed to integrate classroom and co-curricular learning.

Along with BGSU students will be students from the University of Toledo, the University of Findlay, Ohio Northern University and Heidelberg University. Several of the faculty mentors will accompany them.

The BGSU student trip is sponsored by the Center for Undergraduate Research and Scholarship.

For more information, contact Lisa Root, assistant program director and doctoral graduate assistant at the Center for Undergraduate Research and Scholarship, at 2-5401 or lroot@bgsu.edu.



###

(Posted April 14, 2010 )