University News

Undergraduate Research Day April 22

April 15, 2005

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MACOMB, IL - - The collaborative research, scholarship and creative activities of more than 100 students and 40 faculty members will be showcased at the third annual Undergraduate Research Day Friday, April 22 in the Western Illinois University Union Prairie Lounge.

“This is the third year for Research Day, and the number of participants has nearly doubled since the inception of the event,” said Honors College Director Tom Helm. “The organizing committee also made a concerted effort to promote participation from the humanities and the fine arts, and everyone involved is delighted at the diversity of academic disciplines that will be represented this year.”

Scholarly activities spanning 20 academic disciplines will be presented in poster, podium and performance sessions from noon to 2:30 p.m. in the University Union Grand Ballroom as well as the Fox, Springfield, Kaskaskia and Lamoine rooms. Provost and Academic Vice President Joseph Rallo will offer an official welcome at noon.

Podium and performance sessions have been added this year, and more than a dozen students will explain and demonstrate their projects in these forums. Included will be presentations about topics such as ecofeminism, the Black Panther Party, magnetotactic bacteria in western Illinois aquatic habitats, influences on drinking behavior and the making of a literary magazine as well as musical and theatrical performances.

“Undergraduate research is an exciting way for students to apply critical thinking skills to the fields in which they are interested,” said senior physics and mathematics major Ryan Gordon (Browning, IL), who will present a poster session on his research, “Determination of the Effects of Heat Treatment Temperatures on the Structure of Superconducting Magnesium Diboride using Raman Spectroscopy.”

“It opens graduate schools and employment by distinguishing students as being hard working and dedicated,” Gordon added. “The extra time and effort needed to conduct research are definitely worth the benefits that come out of it.”

Undergraduate Research Day is sponsored by Western’s Centennial Honors College as well as each academic college: arts and sciences; fine arts and communication; business and technology; and education and human services.

A list of participants and their research is available online at

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