URSA Scholars Week to display undergraduate research projects

Photo credit: Liesje Powers

By Amanda Hargett-Granato | Reporter

Next week, students from all around the university will present the results of over 100 research studies at the ninth annual Undergraduate Research and Scholarly Achievement (URSA) Scholars Week. From March 27-31, undergraduate student research posters will be displayed in the Baylor Science Building, and oral project presentations will be given in the Bill Daniel Student Center. The Scholars Week keynote lecture will be given on Thursday by Dr. Michael Endl, who was involved in the discovery of a new planet, Proxima B, in 2016.

Research projects ranging from theoretical mathematics to family and consumer sciences will be presented during the week. URSA Director Dr. Susan Bratton encourages students of all disciplines to take part in Scholars Week, saying that there are several fields that are probably underrepresented in the program.

“A lot of the projects are of publishable quality,” Bratton said. “I don’t think there’s any doubt that for students looking to go to graduate schools, [presenting at Scholars Week] is a good idea.”

Because of the abundance of posters this year, Scholars Week poster presentations have been split into two sessions, with session one on Tuesday and Wednesday and session two on Thursday and Friday. Researchers will present their posters or give their presentations orally to judges from each academic department. Awards will be given for outstanding presentations in both individual and group categories.

“It’s one more thing that proves the student is capable,” Bratton said. “The awards aren’t just to give away a trinket– they’re to recognize students who are doing an exceptional job.

In total, 118 research posters will be displayed, and 55 oral presentations will be given during this Scholars Week. Denver senior Delaney Bryant will give her oral presentation about the normalization of misogyny in the story of Don Juan. Having begun her paper five months ago, Bryant said she’s still in the process of revising it.

“I’ve learned that there’s always so much more that can be improved,” Bryant said. “The farther I get into this, the more interesting sources I find that I would never have noticed if I had stopped working in December.”

Bryant’s presentation will be in English, but the sources she used for her project were all in Spanish. Bryant said taking part in Scholars Week not only helped her develop a stronger relationship with her faculty mentor, but also gave her a new depth of knowledge into a subject.

“I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it’s been really enjoyable,” Bryant said. “I love how much I know about this topic now. It’s been good getting involved with the faculty and other students taking part.”