Campus Life

Undergraduate Research Shines at 'Research on Capitol Hill'

Thirty-three Utah State University students will join undergrads from the University of Utah at the state capitol Thursday, Jan. 29, to share their research with legislators at Research on Capitol Hill, an annual celebration of undergraduate research. Organized by USU, the event features students and their research projects in the rotunda.


“Research is invaluable for a student’s intellectual growth and development,” said Joyce Kinkead, associate vice president for research at USU. “Students can begin working on research projects with faculty mentors as early as their first year at Utah State.”

Student research projects at Research on Capitol Hill include topics such as anorexia, puffery in marketing, media bias and the propagation of the chokecherry. Legislators who attend the event have the opportunity to see real-world impacts these projects are making within the state.

“The findings of these projects will be far-reaching,” said Brent Miller, USU’s vice president for research. “Some of them will be published in academic journals, while others will be presented at national research conferences throughout the country. Many of them will be used to solve practical problems by guiding action on community and state issues.”
 
Research on Capitol Hill is in its ninth year and continues to see great support and success. Students who attend this event find it to be a great asset to their research experience.
 
“Presenting at Research on Capitol Hill last year was so exhilarating because I was able to offer information to legislators that was helpful in real-world situations,” said Aubree Neilson, an undergraduate researcher who participated last year.
 
Aubree is an elementary education major who is gathering information to assist in measuring student outcomes of teacher practices in the Advanced Readers at Risk (ARAR) project.
 
“I was able to talk with a legislator for 30 minutes and share information with him that he would later use to help pass bills concerning education,” she said. 
 
Research topics range from the sciences to the arts.
 
“I am looking forward to being able to share my art research with the public,” said Bobby Free, a fine arts major at USU. “Not many people have researched ceramics before, and I am excited to share the results of my new firing techniques.”
 
A wide variety of research projects are presented at Research on Capitol Hill. An overview of this year’s projects includes the study of plasmids and genetic reproduction by Cody Tramp, a molecular biology major; stomatal responses to light and CO2 in leaves by Eric Sibbersen, a biochemistry major; and the study of how starvation has affected human history by Holly Andrew, an anthropology major.

“The projects presented at this event are a boon to learning and discovery for Utah State students,” said Kinkead. “They will provide benefits to the community and state by creating solutions to practical problems and by nurturing the next generation of citizen scholars.”
 
Related links:
 
Contact: Joyce Kinkead (435) 797- 1706, joyce.kinkead@usu.edu
Writer: Marci Monson (435) 512-5932, marci.monson@aggiemail.usu.edu
Writer: Kinsey Love (435) 797-7680, kinsey.love@usu.edu
Utah's state capitol building

USU undergrad researchers present their research at the Utah capitol Thursday, Jan. 29, at the annual 'Research on Capitol Hill' event. Students present findings to legislators and guests in the impressive surroundings of the capitol’s rotunda.

USU undergraduate researchers at 2008 event

USU undergraduate researchers who participated in last year's event gathered at the steps for a group photograph.

Rachel Simmons from the 2008 event

USU undergraduate Rachel Simmons was among last year's student researchers who presented their findings to an audience of state legislators and others.

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