USU to Host Record-Breaking Number of Undergrad Researchers at UCUR

Utah State University will host the 14th annual Utah Conference on Undergraduate Research Friday, Feb. 7. The conference, representing all higher education institutions in Utah, will host a record-breaking 650 attendees. Events will take place in the Taggart Student Center and the Eccles Conference Center from 9 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. on the Logan campus.

The day-long conference will be filled with poster and oral presentations, performances, an art exhibit and a graduate school fair, all of which are open to the public.

USU President Noelle Cockett will open the conference followed by keynote speaker by Elizabeth Vargis, assistant professor of biological engineering. Vargis, an accomplished researcher and mentor, will focus her talk on how undergraduate research changed the trajectory of her life and how she balances the demands of researching, teaching and family life. 

UCUR is modeled after the National Conference on Undergraduate Research hosted each year by the Council on Undergraduate Research. In 2005, USU Professor of English Joyce Kinkead collaborated with John Francis, political science professor at the University of Utah, to create a forum for the growing population of undergraduate researchers in Utah. 

Kinkead and Francis’ effort quickly garnered support from Utah’s public and private colleges and universities. The event has grown steadily, and UCUR 2020 will feature the largest number of participants and presentations yet.

“We’re excited to host undergraduate researchers in all disciplines from across the state,” said Alexa Sand, USU associate vice president for research. “We are especially proud of the first juried UCUR art exhibit, featuring USU’s Year of the Woman theme.” 

Nine universities will be represented at UCUR this year, including Brigham Young University, Dixie State University, Salt Lake Community College, Southern Utah University, University of Utah, Utah Valley University, Weber State University and Westminster College, in addition to USU’s Logan and Statewide campuses.

USU’s Office of Research invites any interested parties to attend. A full schedule is available at ucur.usu.edu


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