Apr 202010
Authors: Darian Warden

Undergraduate students proved Tuesday that not only professors and graduate students conduct university research.

At Tuesday’s 16th annual Celebrate Undergraduate Research and Creativity Showcase, or CURC, students presented research from all disciplines as entries in a science-fair style competition.

Many students spent more than two years preparing projects, which focused on topics ranging from engineering majors Louise Murphy and Justin Weaver’s “Developing semi-synthetic protein affinity ligands using phase display libraries and directed evolution,” to psychology major Michael Martinez’s presentation on the willingness of students to date members of another race.
There were more than 150 presentations overall.

“The showcase is a nice way for me to show what I’ve been doing. I get the chance to share and have people listen to me,” said Raymond Chard, a natural sciences major who presented on Science Learning Methods.

Also a chemistry tutor, Chard began his research more than two years ago when he began noticing some of the students he tutored were struggling with the department’s teaching methods. In between his class and work schedule, he developed his own teaching method.     

The university’s Office of Undergraduate Research and Artistry organized the showcase, which was intended to celebrate research by students of all majors, said Barb Farrell, the Undergraduate Research coordinator for the Department and coordinator of CURC.

“It is important for young people to understand what they are capable of,” she said.

For the first time, this year’s presentations included music presented by CSU music students. Because this year is the first for music entries, there was no system of judging for musical entries.

All entries were judged against each other regardless of area of study. The presentations that receive the top scores will be recognized at an award ceremony Thursday.

Farrell hopes that by next year the music category will expand to include theatre groups and more string instrument entries and that they can include the music and theatre departments in the judging.

“What they’re doing is brand new and research too,” Farrell said. “Research is everywhere.”

Staff writer Darian Warden can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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