Undergraduate Research Day, April 13, 2023



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We invite you to explore, engage in conversation, offer feedback, and get inspired. This collaborative effort between the Office of Undergraduate Research and Major Awards, the Honors College, and the M.D. Anderson Library highlights the diverse range of research projects carried out by University of Houston undergraduate students. The 2023 presenters include students from programs such as the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF), Provost's Undergraduate Research Scholarship (PURS), Mellon Research Scholars Program, Research for Aspiring Coogs in the Humanities (REACH), and many others who conducted research under the guidance of University of Houston faculty in the past year. The energy that makes this event so special is only outmatched by the spirit and dedication the students have brought to their research this year. The number of participants in this year's Undergraduate Research Day increased 35% from last year. We are excited to celebrate the research of UH undergraduates, and they are eager to share their projects with you. Our presenters have collaborated with faculty mentors from 16 colleges and schools in programs as diverse as Philosophy, Pharmacological and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Art History, and Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. Faculty at the University of Houston are dedicated to mentoring students in the pursuit of advancing knowledge in their fields and are always looking for ways to advocate for students' success. The research posters offer an invitation to discuss big ideas, granular analyses, and complex problems. Undergraduate Research Day provides the opportunity for undergraduate researchers to connect with other students, faculty, staff, and professionals in industry and gain feedback on their research. We encourage you to speak with presenters about their work. In the last year, the Office of Undergraduate Research and Major Awards (OURMA) has supported over 310 faculty-mentored student research projects and awarded over $590K in student scholarships. This would not be possible without the generous support of the Office of the Provost and the Division of Research whose dedication to student success enables students at the University of Houston to pursue funded research opportunities. We are also always seeking new ways to expand research opportunities while addressing society's urgent questions. With this in mind, and thanks to funding provided by Phillips 66, we launched the Energy Scholars Program this spring which provides a summer and fall research experience for students of any discipline working on energy-related research. Our funded undergraduate research programs allow students the necessary time and resources to delve deep and better understand and address some of Houston's, and our world's, most important issues. UH students are also well-positioned as fellowships applicants. In the last year, our students have been named recipients of the Phi Beta Kappa Key into Public Service Scholarship, Voyager Scholarship, Amgen Scholars, Critical Language Scholarship, and NSF-GRFP. With 10 Coogs named as Fulbright recipients for 2022-2023, the University of Houston was again named a Top Producing Fulbright Institution, the third time it has received this prestigious designation in the last four years. In the lab and the library, in Houston and across the globe, our Coogs dare to dream big, and their successes demonstrate why University of Houston is a Carnegie-designated Tier One research university. We are heartened by the increase in student participation and funding for undergraduate research opportunities, even amid the challenges of the pandemic. With these increases and in support of OURMA's mission to provide faculty-mentored research opportunities and advising on fellowships and major awards to undergraduate students, OURMA welcomed new staff members in 2022. Deborah Reyes joined as a Program Manager in September and is completing her M.Ed. in Higher Education this year. Students interested in getting started in research and in the PURS and SURF programs should contact Deborah for more information. Livia Garza joined the office as a Program Manager in November. An alum of both the Honors College and the Mellon Research Scholars Program, Livia holds a M.S. in Library and Information Science from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Students interested in getting connected with OURMA opportunities through our listserv and social media, as well as those interested in the HERE program, should contact Livia for more information. We were pleased as well to welcome Esraa Wasel to our team as a student worker; Esraa is a member of the Honors College graduating this spring with a Bachelor's degree in philosophy. A former Mellon Research Scholar and preparing for graduate study, Esraa will be presenting her research on moral encroachment at this year's URD. She also has a published article in the third issue of FrameWorks: A Journal of Undergraduate Research in the Interdisciplinary Humanities. We feel fortunate to have a dedicated team working to ensure opportunities for undergraduate researchers at the University of Houston. The Office of Undergraduate Research and Major Awards would like to thank the Office of the Provost, the Division of Research, the Honors College, UH Libraries, the Cullen College of Engineering, the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, and many other colleges and departments on campus for their support of undergraduate research programs at the University of Houston. The programs featured here today would not be possible without the support of our campus partners. We know that students who engage in undergraduate research are better positioned to assess and address the pressing issues of our time. Participation in undergraduate research allows students to hone key research skills and provides a foundation for collaborative problem-solving. We are excited to learn alongside these researchers. Thank you for joining us for this year's celebration of undergraduate research at the University of Houston.



Undergraduate research day projects