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UNG undergrads take research to state conference

GURC 2015
Hannah Smith (left) and fellow UNG students Bianca Gedeon (right) and Krista Valetutto (center) present a research project that they have been working on during the Georgia Undergraduate Research Conference.

A dozen University of North Georgia (UNG) undergraduate students journeyed to the Georgia Undergraduate Research Conference in Statesboro, Georgia, to present their own research and learn what their peers from other institutions are pursuing.

The students from UNG's Dahlonega, Gainesville and Oconee campuses comprised one of the biggest UNG contingents to ever attend the conference. They presented in both paper and poster sessions, and mingled and networked with each other and peers from many other Georgia colleges and universities.

"One of the great aspects of an undergraduate education is exploring areas of common interest with students from other institutions," said Dr. Andy Novobilski, associate provost for research and engagement and chief research officer at UNG. "Our students benefit from the experience, not only by observing what others are doing, but also by preparing to share what they've learned with others."

The conference, held Nov. 6-7 at Georgia Southern University, and others like it offer opportunities for students to present their work to peers and faculty from other institutions, and field experts who often attend as speakers and mentors.

"This isn't something that I have had a chance to do in Germany, so I decided to take the opportunity by the horns," said Reinhild Kokula, an international UNG student from Germany. She presented "Mapping Joaquín: How Literary Cartography Opens New Perspectives on the Western Novel."

Though research topics are often associated with sciences such as biology and chemistry, UNG encourages undergraduate research in all disciplines through a variety of conferences and research initiatives. Subjects presented by UNG students at the conference included physics and mathematics, multiculturalism in literature, social sciences, and biology.

Other students who attended and presented included Madeline Millard, Ellen Tomlin, Kimberly Wright, Katie McCullogh, Bianca Gedeon, Spencer Cruz, Hannah Smith, Krista Valetutto, Vinh Bui, Richard Fields, and Cali Chacon. Attending faculty were Dr. Anastasia Lin, assistant dean of student research and scholarship; Jill Schulze, assistant dean of the College of Science & Mathematics; and Dr. Katherine Kipp, professor of psychological science.

UNG's Center for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities supported travel for the students. UNG currently plans to host the Georgia Undergraduate Research Conference in 2018-19.

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