16:18 PM

Gator Talent on Display at Impact Learning Office Student Showcase


By Laura Wagner

More than 17 students presented posters, PowerPoints, and videos at the Impact Learning Office (ILO)’s Student Showcase Nov. 14. Topics ran the gamut, including:

  • Study Abroad: faculty-led trips to Ghana and Oaxaca, and student exchange in Nice, France
  • Service Learning: Understanding the consequences of abusing street drugs, increasing awareness, and preventing and managing metabolic disorders (hypertension and diabetes)
  • Undergraduate Research: Anti-Cancer Effects of Plant Extracts on Breast Cancer Cells, Drosophila mating behavior, and importance of presenting research at national conferences
  • Internships/Field Experiences: Exploring Social Work resources, developing apps at the Air Force Research Laboratory

According to Dr. Poonam Gulati, Executive Director of the ILO and Associate Professor of Microbiology and Biology, the event holds tremendous value for students. “The participating students benefit by sharing their experiences with peers, faculty, staff, and administrators. They also learn valuable communication, presentation, and critical-thinking skills,” she said, adding that the experiences can serve as valuable additions to students’ résumés.

For the steady flow of students who streamed through the Mural area of One Main Building to hear the presentations, the event raised awareness of the opportunities available. “The students who listen to their peers discuss the high-impact experiences learn about these kinds of opportunities and how to engage in them,” explained Gulati. “They discover the feasibility of participating in such programs and the benefits that can be gained.” Presenters made a point of discussing the benefits they found from participating in their respective programs and the value of their experiences in enhancing their education.

Gulati hopes the event will increase student involvement in impact-learning opportunities. “Our goal is for participants and attendees alike to appreciate all the high-impact opportunities available to students at UHD, and the ways in which they can easily be accessed,” she said. “Such experiences showcase the students’ time spent on curricular and co-curricular activities at UHD that enhance their classroom learning. We hope the students understand that participating in such activities makes them better candidates for graduate studies, professional schools, and jobs.”

About the University of Houston-Downtown

The University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) is the second-largest university in Houston and has served the educational needs of the nation’s fourth-largest city since 1974. As one of four distinct public universities in the University of Houston System, UHD is a comprehensive, four-year university led by President Loren J. Blanchard. Annually, UHD educates approximately 14,000 students, boasts more than 66,000 alumni, and offers 45 bachelor’s degrees, 12 master’s degrees, and 19 online programs within four colleges: Marilyn Davies College of Business, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, College of Public Service, and College of Sciences and Technology. UHD has one of the lowest tuition rates in Texas.

U.S. News and World Report ranked UHD among the nation’s Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Applied Administration and Best Online Master’s Programs in Criminal Justice, as well as a Top Performer in Social Mobility. The Wall Street Journal/College Pulse ranked UHD one of the best colleges in the U.S. for its 2024 rankings, with notable distinctions: No. 1 for diversity (tied) and No. 3 for student experience. The University is designated as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, a Minority-Serving Institution, and a Military Friendly School. For more information on the University of Houston-Downtown, visit uhd.edu.