Jan. 22, 2015 – Undergraduate students at the University of Utah and Utah State University will showcase their research for Utah lawmakers on Thursday, Jan. 29 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the rotunda of the Utah State Capitol.
Research Posters on the Hill, now in its 15th year, gives lawmakers and the public a glimpse of the intensive research conducted at the state’s two public research universities.
In addition to highlighting the importance of funding research endeavors to legislators, students also engage in public outreach and polish their presentation skills.
Caitlin Heighton, a 2014 participant of Research Posters on the Hill, said the event helped her gain confidence for pursuing her lifelong dream of a career in scientific research.
“It was a wonderful experience to present research locally. It’s important for local legislation to see what students are working towards understanding and what we’re capable of doing, even before we finish our degrees,” said Heighton.
Shwan Javdan, another 2014 participant, echoed Heighton’s sentiment on the importance of communicating science to the public.
“[The event] put me into a situation where I had to explain my research to non-scientists, a difficult task when my research involved very technical polymer chemistry,” said Javdan. “However, I am grateful to have met with local congressmen to demonstrate the importance of academic research.”
“At the University of Utah, we emphasize the importance of applying knowledge gained from the classroom to real-world problems,” said David W. Pershing, president of the University of Utah. “Research allows students to graduate with a degree in hand, and also with invaluable, relevant experiences which help them develop into well-rounded, competent members of the global community.”
This year, topics range from linguistics, metallurgical engineering and psychology. A sample of projects include “Modeling of High Temperature Electrochemical Actinide Separations,” “Culturally Comprehensive Refugee Family Planning Curriculum” and “Social Support and Mental Toughness as Suicide Protective Factors in Military Police.”