Exploration Encouraged in Research Week Celebration

Published: Apr 26, 2013
Honored in Undergraduate Research Celebration Week are four events highlighting the efforts of students to develop questions, implement ways to test them, determine if they are correct and react to the results.
Honored in Undergraduate Research Celebration Week are four events highlighting the efforts of students to develop questions, implement ways to test them, determine if they are correct and react to the results.
In most cases, students read and study the results of other people’s interests and passions. At UT, however, students are encouraged to explore their own curiosity.

Honored in Undergraduate Research Celebration Week are four events highlighting these efforts, which push students to develop questions, implement ways to test them, determine if they are correct and how to react with the results.

“Whether the research is part of a class project or an independent study project, doing research allows them to begin taking the steps toward creating new knowledge,” said Deletha Hardin, associate professor of psychology and coordinator of the College of Social Sciences, Mathematics and Education Undergraduate Research Conference on May 1.

“As a faculty member, I think that’s exciting, and I think the students enjoy it as well,” Hardin said. “I see the joy on their faces when the results turn out as they’d like for them to, and I see the disappointment on their faces when the results don’t turn out as expected.”

The research celebration included Celebrating Honors Day on April 22 where eight undergraduate research fellows gave oral presentations of their findings. April 26 was the College of Natural and Health Sciences Undergraduate Research Symposium where CNHS students present their current or recently completed research projects in a poster format, and Greg Springsteen, associate professor of chemistry at Furman University, gave a keynote presentation.

“Part of the mission of The University of Tampa is to balance ‘learning by thinking’ with ‘learning by doing.’ This often leads to deep, meaningful learning experiences and gives students an advantage when entering the workforce or applying to graduate school,” said Eric Freundt, assistant professor of biology, who is coordinating the research celebration week.

Freundt added that UT offers students a unique access to faculty due to the smaller class sizes.

“Since most of us don't have graduate students, undergraduates often get hands-on with some of the best projects,” Freundt said. “Also, our faculty have the ability to structure independent research projects into course curriculum so that more students can experience the process of discovery.”

On April 27 is the Annual Human Rights Conference organized by UT’s Human Rights Think Tank. It includes several student research presentations in line with the conference’s aim to help understand, analyze and promote the global human rights movement.

“The conference is a primary catalyst to celebrate, report and encourage such work, but it's part of a larger and growing interest in human rights at UT,” said Bruce Friesen, associate professor of sociology, who is coordinating the conference with Marcus Arvan, assistant professor of philosophy. Friesen said the academic deans have chosen human rights as their theme for the campus for the 2013-2014 academic year.

The conference investigates and celebrates human rights through panels, presentations and creative works from UT faculty and students as well as outside speakers. The event will run from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on the 9th floor of the Vaughn Center and is free and open to the public.

The May 1 CSSME research conference will be held in Plant Hall’s Fletcher Lounge from 4 to 6 p.m. For more information, go to www.ut.edu/urc.