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U of U to Host National Conference That Celebrates Undergraduates’ Research and Creative Achievement

October 31, 2002 — Next spring the University of Utah will host the 17th National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR), a premier conference that focuses on U.S. undergraduate students’ research and creative achievement. Students and faculty are encouraged to submit NCUR entries now, or at least by the Nov. 15 deadline. NCUR information and application forms are available at www.utah.edu/NCUR2003.

The NCUR attracts more than 2,000 college students, faculty and administrators annually who gather on university campuses to observe undergraduates’ scholarly research and artistic endeavors. Oral presentations, poster sessions, artistic performances and exhibits are standard NCUR components. The event, to be held March 13-15, is free and open to all students, faculty, staff and the greater community. (March 14 is the last day of University classes before spring break.)

Conference attendees come from more than 300 colleges and universities and represent almost every state in the nation. Participants also represent a range of disciplines, including creative arts, mathematics, business, social science, humanities, physical and life sciences, natural resources and engineering, among others.

“As a Research 1 university it is part of the U’s mission for undergraduate students to collaborate directly with faculty in research, artistic and creative work,” says Slava Lubomudrov, NCUR conference chair and associate dean of undergraduate studies at the U.

“Attending out-of-state national conferences can be very expensive and often the price is prohibitive for students. The NCUR at the University will be an exceptional opportunity for our U students to present at a premier national conference,” Lubomudrov notes, adding that about 100 U students will participate.

Lubomudrov says the U hopes to cover the $130 registration cost for U undergraduate participants. However, in exchange, these students will be expected to assist conference organizers in a variety of NCUR-related services, either in the U’s Olpin Union Building, which will serve as the nexus of NCUR activities, or in nearby campus locations.

By participating in the NCUR conference, undergraduate students can work with faculty members to prepare presentations, network with other students and faculty from across the nation, sharpen their professional skills by giving formal presentations and expand their opportunities for attending graduate school. Past NCUR participants from the University have exhibited visual artwork and delivered oral presentations on subjects ranging from genetics to air quality to bone healing to cell phones’ effects on driving.

Hosting the NCUR for a second time-the U was the site of the same conference 10 years ago-allows the University to showcase student and faculty research and achievement, recruit prospective graduate students, network with colleagues from other institutions and share innovative programs supporting undergraduate research or artistic work.

Faculty are encouraged to submit abstracts describing innovative programs supporting undergraduate research or artistic work for presentation through the Undergraduate Research Network (URN), which will be part of the conference.

The NCUR’s plenary speakers are: Bruce Alberts, president of the National Academy of Sciences and a biochemist who has been recognized for his work in both biochemistry and molecular biology; U of U English Professor Vincent Cheng, who has published extensively on Shakespeare, James Joyce and identity in literature; U of U Anthropology Professor Kristen Hawkes, recently named a member of the National Academy of Sciences and awarded the U’s Rosenblatt Prize for Excellence; and Assistant Professor of Modern Dance Stephen Koester, director of graduate studies in the U’s Modern Dance Department and formerly co-artistic director of Creach/Koester, a dance company based in New York City, which toured throughout the U.S. Canada and Europe.

For more information on the NCUR, call 801-581-3811 or 801-581-8070.