Undergraduate Research Signature Experience Recipients Announced

Seventy-nine University of Arkansas at Little Rock students, forty-six from the College of Arts, Letters, and Sciences, have been selected as the inaugural recipients of the Undergraduate Research Signature Experience Awards for spring 2018. 

Chancellor Andrew Rogerson introduced the awards in fall 2017 to inspire UA Little Rock undergraduate students to conduct research and creative projects. Each of the recipients will receive up to $1,000 to cover the cost of materials for this one-semester signature experience in research or creative works.

“It is our goal for all students to have the opportunity to have a Signature Experience during their time at UA Little Rock – one in which they actively engage in creative work with faculty,” Dr. Rogerson said. “Not only will their academic experience be enriched by these connections, but they in turn will enrich the lives of others who benefit from the research. It is also my hope that it will help students engage with their major and consider graduate school.”

Daryl Rice, associate vice chancellor for academic affairs, noted that undergraduate research is  tied to increased student persistence and graduation.

“This is not surprising,” Rice said. “Undergraduate research gives students a special connection to a living scholar and provides an exhilarating taste of actually doing science, of doing sociological, historical or psychological research themselves, which has a big motivational effect.”

The students’ projects range across disciplines and include topics  such as a study of coral reef disease on San Salvador Island, a law review of tenant-landlord laws in Arkansas, an analysis of student perceptions of open education resources, the construction of a thermochemical system for conversion of municipal solid waste into fuel, and a reproduction of Egyptian faience ceramic techniques.

“There were outstanding projects across the colleges,” said Dr. Jeremy Ecke, chair of the Student Research and Creative Works Committee. “The committee was particularly heartened to see proposals from the fine arts, theater and dance, music, math, and other disciplines that have been underrepresented in the annual research and creative works expo. This year’s launch of an expanded Student Research and Creative Works Showcase is off to a great start. I hope the awards will inspire other students to showcase their work in the spring.”

Recipients of the Signature Experience Awards will exhibit their work at the Student Research and Creative Works Showcase on April 12 in the Jack Stephens Center. The showcase is open to all students across disciplines. Applications will be accepted beginning Jan. 1, 2018. Students interested in presenting work at the showcase or who want to learn more are asked to respond to a survey of interest.

College of Arts, Letters, and Sciences

Reem Al-Shukri, Nanotechnology
Emily Anderson, Chemistry
Marina Avram, Chemistry
Erin Beeman, Philosophy & Interdisciplinary Studies
Lilly Bessette, Biology
Becky Blackburn, Fine Art
Andrew Blackwell, Art & Design
Marvin Bonney, Physics and Astronomy
Kenneth Burnett, Biology
Brock Butler, Chemistry
Michael Caysido, Music-Piano Performance
Amairani Paredes-Cheguen, Biology
Nathaniel Darbonne, English
Jenish Desai, Chemistry
Corrie Green, Theatre, Arts and Dance
Jake Green, English
Kristen Gregory, Biology
Robert Hill, Chemistry
Davonte Hokes, Chemistry
Thomas Jackson, Theatre Arts and Dance
Travis Lewison Jumper, Chemistry
Emily E. Junkans, English/ World Languages
Grishma Kc, Biology
Amy King, History/Secondary Education
William King, Biology (working with CINS)
Cameryn Kirkham, English
Samantha Macchi, Chemistry
Katie Matthews, Biology
Tyler Maxwell, Biology
Rebecca Parker-Moreira, Chemistry
Joy Madeline Reinbold, English
Grace Rutter, Biology
Paloma Salazar, Chemistry
James Sellers, Chemistry
Alaa Mohammed Shahare, Biology
Kimber Stout, Physics
Daniel Stuckey, Chemistry
Zaria Sumler, Biology
Sylvia Szewdo, Chemistry
Thuy Thanh Le, Chemistry
Conor VanLierop, Theatre
Justice Williams, Biology
LeShonta Williams, Chemistry
Tori Williams, English
Scott Wolf, Math and Statistics
Dylan Wright, World Languages

The Signature Experience Award winners from other colleges are listed on the News page.

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