CURS symposium attracts student researchers statewide


Students recognized for research work in online setting

By Kandace York

“Learning can happen inside and outside the classroom.” That’s a common refrain by Dr. Cordula Mora, director of Bowling Green State University’s Center for Undergraduate Research and Scholarship (CURS).

This year, that learning happened despite the COVID-19 pandemic that ended face-to-face events and courses on campus. But the annual spring symposium remained an opportunity for undergraduate students from all disciplines and fields to share their research, scholarly and creative projects with a wider community.

Instead of canceling the symposium, as most Ohio universities were forced to do, BGSU invited students to submit their presentations – using PowerPoint files, images and even short YouTube videos – on the dedicated page  

“This spring, our students were presented with an unprecedented challenge,“ Mora said.

“Because of COVID-19, we needed them to prepare their presentations for our annual spring symposium in an online format at very short notice, and they truly rose to the challenge by creating outstanding presentations for the symposium.”

By moving the symposium to an online format, students were able to prepare for their post-BGSU lives by gaining presentation experience in a new format and adding their presentations to their resumes. The University's “outside the box” thinking enabled students from other universities to share their work; these included Ohio Northern University and the University of Toledo.

Originally scheduled for April 18, the symposium became a “virtual” event that stretched through the semester, with 144 presentations by 211 undergraduate students at colleges throughout the University uploaded to the site. Faculty judges evaluated their work and submitted their results by June 5Top projects included:

College of Arts and Sciences

  • Samantha Davis, “The Illustrated Atlas of Africa,” mentored by Yu Zhou, associate professor
  • Kayla Gay, “Sources of Anxiety in Emerging Adult Relationships: A Qualitative Analysis,” mentored by Monica Longmore, professor
  • Savannah Hinde, “Open and Unaffirming: Churches and LGBT Inclusion Policy,” mentored by Melissa Miller, associate professor
  • Alyissa Horn, “Using Costa Rica to Examine How and Why Immigration Policies are Becoming Stricter,” mentored by Lara Lengel, professor
  • Katherine Marita, “Characterization of Host Range and DNA Sequence of Rhodobacter sphaeroides Bacteriophage ɸRSG1.1,” mentored by Jill Zeilstra-Ryalls, professor
  • Anna Dominguez, Ahmad Ghanim and Reagan Shull, “Ser Una Chingona,” mentored by Thomas Castillo, associate professor
  • Gyona Rice, “Mind Your Speech: How to prevent the use of microaggressions,” mentored by Lori Young, associate professor
  • Tay Sauer, “American Perceptions of Arab Countries in Film,” mentored by Hannah Mueller, associate teaching professor
  • Adam Swint, “The effect of dredged sediment amendment on soil health,” mentored by Angelica Vasquez-Ortega, assistant professor
  • Mason Trinh (two presentations), “Negotiating Identity Gaps: Experiences of LGBTQ University Students,” mentored by Sandra Faulkner, professor, and “The Relationship between Victimization Experiences due to Race/Ethnicity and/or LGBTQ+ Identities and Emotional Well-being Outcomes,” mentored by Eric Dubow, professor

College of Business

  • Michael Johnston, “An Analysis of Intellectual Property Rights in the United States and Costa Rica,” mentored by Kristen Krebs, teaching professor

College of Health and Human Services

  • Molly Bebko, “English Proficiency at a Glance: A Literature Review and Qualitative Interview Analysis for First-Time TESOL Volunteers,” mentored by Colleen Fitzgerald, assistant professor
  • Lauren Riggleman, “Attempts at subject pronouns across assessments in preschoolers,” mentored by Colleen Fitzgerald, assistant professor

College of Musical Arts

  • Tai Knoll, “Exploring Moroccan Music through Experiential Learning,” mentored by Christopher Witulski, assistant teaching professor

The symposium is one of three the center coordinates. In addition to the Undergraduate Symposium for Research and Scholarship, it hosts the Undergraduate Symposium on Diversity and the Embracing Global Engagement Conference.

Updated: 06/18/2020 03:39PM