15 Donaghey Scholars Win UA Little Rock Undergraduate Research Grants

Fifteen Donaghey Scholars are among the seventy-nine University of Arkansas at Little Rock students who 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.

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