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UHD Student Research Conference Set for April 12


By Mike Emery

Undergraduate research has many benefits for students. It provides them with learning experiences and preparation for graduate studies and professional careers. It also offers an opportunity to publicly showcase projects addressing a range of real-world topics.

This week, the University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) will spotlight undergraduate research on campus during the 18th annual Scholars Academy Student Research Conference (SRC). The event, sponsored by CITGO, will be held from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., April 12 in UHD’s Wilhelmina Cullen Robertson Auditorium. It will feature oral and poster presentations, and include remarks from members of Houston’s STEM community.

Students from each of UHD’s five colleges (Sciences & Technology, Humanities & Social Sciences, Public Service, University College and Marilyn Davies College of Business) will participate in this event, and 88 projects (focused on research and high impact practices) will be presented.

The conference has become an anticipated event for the University and the Scholars Academy. Presentations delivered at the event represent mentored research at UHD. Projects were overseen by students with guidance from faculty. According to Dr. Mary Jo Parker, executive director of UHD’s Scholars Academy, the projects presented at this event will ultimately help students evolve both academically and professionally.

“Those undergraduates who participate in mentored research followed by presentations at the SRC truly participate in an early version of graduate research,” Parker said. “Undergraduates are encouraged to know their own levels of competence and gain the confidence needed to complete their undergraduate degrees and either enter advanced post-baccalaureate programs or join the workforce.”

The event’s keynote speakers are:

  • Dr. Miriam M. Morales, associate vice president of Data Science for Memorial Hermann Hospital System, Clinical Transformation
  • Dr. Yolanda J. Rios, director of Multilingual/Title III/Migrant for New Caney Independent School District.

Both Morales and Rios also are proud UHD alumni. Brandon Thomas, senior lubes compliance specialist at CITGO, also will deliver remarks.

The Student Research Conference is just one initiative of UHD’s Scholars Academy. The Academy promotes scholarship and student success for the University's undergraduate students majoring in STEM disciplines. The Academy encourage enhanced learning experiences through smaller classes, modern labs, hands-on experience, and flexible course options. Students also explore STEM topics through research activities and community engagement initiatives.

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.