Business & Society

Students Present Research at National Diversity Conference

Joydino Beyale, student from USU Eastern in Blanding, presents current research at a poster session at the SACNAS National Conference for Diversity in STEM in California.

Two iUTAH students, Joydino Beyale and Luis Vidal, were among the many undergraduate students presenting research at the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) National Conference for Diversity in STEM in Long Beach, California, on Oct. 13-15, 2016.

Research for their presentations at SACNAS started last summer, when the two students were accepted into the iUTAH iFellows undergraduate research experience. This 11-week program culminated in the creation of a formal presentation and paper on the topics listed below.

• Joydino Beyale, USU Eastern in Blanding, presented on Determining the Quantity and Quality of Rainwater Drainage from Various Rooftops

• Luis Vidal, University of Utah, presented on Cross Cutting Relationships Among Community Concerns and Green Urban Infrastructure in the Jordan River Corridor

“iUTAH is proud to not only provide research opportunities for undergraduate students from across Utah, but also support students in sharing their research at relevant conferences,” said Ellen Eiriksson, iUTAH Education, Outreach and Diversity coordinator.

Vidal, a junior studying geology and environmental science at the University of Utah commented on the size of the gathering. 

“It was a little intimidating at first with so many people” said Vidal. “There was a great sense of inclusion in the conference and being around other students with similar backgrounds, especially when meeting other earth scientists of similar backgrounds.”

For Beyale, who is finishing his general studies at Utah State University Eastern in Blanding and plans to major in environmental engineering, the best part was the “many workshops and people to talk to,” adding “being part of SACNAS has opened up a whole new beginning for me.”

While time was tight at the conference, which had record turnout with more than 4,000 attendees, and 1,000 student research presenters, students found opportunities to learn about graduate schools and internships, meet faculty and students from schools throughout the United States and get information about key resources and programs. The 2017 SACNAS National Conference will be held Oct. 19-21, in Salt Lake City, Utah, providing more Utah students and researchers a chance to attend.

“Both Luis and Joydino's iFellows research allowed them to connect with a wide audience” said Eiriksson. “Their iUTAH faculty mentors helped the students develop skills to share this research on a national scale, and we hope they now feel empowered to use this research and skills to positively impact their communities.”

When asked what advice they would give to other students interested in going to undergraduate conferences, Beyale said “work hard, get involve with your college, and most importantly be connected with your mentors and professors.”

iUTAH is an NSF-funded project aimed at building statewide capacity to conduct research on vital environmental issues facing our state, specifically water sustainability. The project integrates research, training and education to support Utah’s next generation STEM workforce and contribute to the education of and engagement with an informed, water-wise citizenry.

Related links:

iUTAH website

SACNAS National Conference

Contact: Ellen Eiriksson, 801-587-8121,

Writer: Jeannine Huenemann, 435-797-0984,

Luis Vidal, second from the left, with several members of the USU SACNAS chapter attending the conference.


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