Friday, April 8, the University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) Scholars Academy hosted its 15th Annual Student Research Conference (SRC) 2016 in the Robertson Auditorium. A great success, the event drew more than 200 attendees and provided a warm and encouraging atmosphere for student presenters.
The conference kicked off with welcoming remarks by UHD Interim President Michael A. Olivas and UHD Provost Edward Hugetz. UHD alumna Claudia Jimenez Sturman (‘08), followed with the keynote address. Sturman, an assistant laboratory director at Gene by Gene, shared her educational journey as a UHD international student, and explained the research opportunities that led her to pursue a career in microbiology and molecular genetics. Sturman stressed the importance of getting involved in undergraduate research, saying “It’s never too early to start in a lab, as long as you learn something, it’s a good move.”
The conference featured seven oral presentations from students across all disciplines. Students presented research on topics ranging from plastic degradation and nuclear piping, to bat invasion and foodservice quality and satisfaction.
Mary Jo Parker, director of the UHD Scholars Academy said she was proud of the turnout and the success of the occasion. “In the seven years I have been associated with the Scholars Academy, I have never been as proud of these undergraduates as I was last Friday,” said Parker. “Their professionalism, manner, and attentiveness to all presenters—oral and poster—truly captures what UHD strives to produce across all its student populations: competent, confident and capable students ready to improve the world and themselves upon graduation. The SRC 2016 sets the bar high.”
The conference concluded with an open poster session where nearly 100 undergraduate students presented their scholarly and creative posters before faculty, staff, students and invited guests. Students completed the poster projects under the guidance of faculty mentors.
The Scholars Academy would like to thank the following conference sponsors for their generous support and continued patronage: The Brown Foundation, National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Education MSEIP, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory commission, UHD College of Business, UHD College of Humanities and Social Sciences, UHD College of Public Service, UHD College of Sciences and Technology, and the UHD President’s Office.