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Undergraduate Research Symposium goes online

Monday, April 27, 2020

LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas has hosted an Undergraduate Research Symposium every year since 1998, and the year 2020 will be no exception.The 23rd annual Undergraduate Research Symposium will go online this year, providing students a venue to share the results of their research and creative projects and the KU community the opportunity to learn from their discoveries.

“I am thrilled that we are able to continue the longstanding tradition of hosting the Undergraduate Research Symposium and even more excited to see it offered in an online format,” said Susan Klusmeier, interim vice provost for undergraduate studies. “Now more than ever, it is important to provide opportunities to virtually bring together the Jayhawk family and to celebrate the work and accomplishments of our undergraduate researchers and their faculty mentors.”

Over 225 students have registered to present at the Online Undergraduate Research Symposium. Student presentations (in PDF format) are available for viewing on a special website made for the online event. The website went live April 25. Students, faculty, staff and the general community are invited to view student presentations at www.symposium2020.ku.edu.

“Given all of the new challenges students and faculty are facing this semester, I am impressed with everyone’s flexibility, dedication and willingness to share their research and creative work,” said Alison Olcott, director of the Center for Undergraduate Research and associate professor in geology. “I hope the campus community will join me in visiting the symposium website to view student presentations and learn what these students have discovered through their projects.”

The Undergraduate Research Symposium began in 1998 with the vision of K. Barbara Schowen, KU professor emeritus, who wanted to provide an opportunity for students to share the results of their research and creative projects and hone their communication skills. Over the past 20 years, the campus has seen an increase in the number of students, faculty and staff participating in and supporting this annual event.

ACE Talks

The ACE Talks are the keynote presentations for the online symposium. These talks showcase students presenting their research and creative projects in an (A)ccesible, (C)reative and (E)ngaging way. Students applied to give an ACE Talk by submitting an abstract of their work and a short video of themselves talking about their project. ACE Talk presenters each receive $500 and have a video of their presentation posted on the homepage of the 2020 Symposium website. The 2020 ACE Talk winners:

  • Elsey Barnhart, a psychology major from Olathe; “Mediating Stress Response with Security Priming,” mentored by Omri Gillath, psychology
  • Pierce Giffin, a physics and mathematics major from Leawood, “Search for Dark Photon in Current and Future Colliders,” mentored by Ian Lewis, physics & astronomy
  • Angelica Lang, a molecular, cellular & developmental biology major from Manhattan, “The Role of the Gene dpy-17 in the Migration of Neurons in C. elegans,” mentored by Erik Lundquist, molecular biosciences.