Category: Research

Join the Central Undergraduate Research Board

The Central Undergraduate Research Board (CURB) is a small group of student leaders on campus who serve as an advisory board promoting undergraduate research, creative, and scholarly activity at UCO. The board consists of 5-10 members representing the university’s five colleges, and works with the Office of High-Impact Practices to engage students and to plan for future growth in undergraduate research. Students from all disciplines are encouraged to apply.

CURB’s mission is to:

  • Promote undergraduate research, creative, and scholarly opportunities;
  • Collaborate with other student groups on campus to get the word out about research, creative, and scholarly opportunities and their benefits to students;
  • Contribute to the conversation about expanding opportunities to our diverse student body;
  • And provide a student voice to advise OHIP on student polices, practices, resources, and services

Undergraduate students can apply to serve on CURB through a nomination process. To nominate yourself or someone else, please send an email to Dr. Michael Springer, Director of the Office of High-Impact Practices at mspringer@uco.edu. In the email, be sure to include the nominee’s name and answers to the following three questions.

  • Why do you think undergraduate research is important?
  • What would you like to do to promote undergraduate research experiences at UCO?
  • What does diversity, equity, and inclusion mean to you and why are these important in undergraduate research?

Students and faculty can nominate any undergraduate student to serve on the advisory board. The deadline to nominate is Friday, September 10, 2021. Students selected to serve on the board will be notified by Friday, September 17, 2021.

Benefits for advisory board members include a voice in decisions about undergraduate research programs, leadership opportunities, as well as network building and community outreach. It is a chance to impact undergraduate research, creative, and scholarly activities for other students at UCO.

Serving on the advisory board is a voluntary position, with an estimated time commitment of five hours per month. The term of appointment is for the academic year 2021-2022.

If you are interested, submit a nominating email to mspringer@uco.edu today!

Getting the most out of virtual conferences

students on a gymnasium floor walking around looking at research posters

The past year has brought many challenges as we have adapted to life during a pandemic. One significant change we have experienced is the shift from in-person conferences to virtual ones. Although virtual events lack the face-to-face interactions, they can be as informative, engaging, and rewarding as in-person events. Here are my tips for getting the most out of your virtual conference experience.

  1. Familiarize yourself with the platform before the conference begins. Many platforms exists, and they each have distinct features that allow you to participate in discussions, connect with conference participants, and to communicate with presenters. Knowing what you can do with the virtual platform will help you get the most out of the experience.
  2. Choose presentations, roundtable discussions, and poster sessions that interest you. Take a look at the schedule and plan your activities in advance so you don’t miss out. I recommend reading through the program before the conference begins and planning your schedule will allow you to find the sessions that excite you and make for a more engaging conference.
  3. If presenting at a virtual conference, be sure to practice with the platform before you present. Some conferences have begun adding in practice times for presenters, which can help you get accustomed to the platform and reduce the stress of virtual presentations.
  4. Minimize the disruptions in your environment. One challenge I have found with virtual conferences is that I can be distracted easily of the demands of work and home. Clear your schedule to allow you to focus on the conference. Turning off things like email notifications and using headphones have also helped me to reduce the distractions and allow me to concentrate on the presentations.
  5. Connect and engage with people. One key to immersing yourself in the conference is to connect with other participants through structured discussions, virtual meet-and-greets, or private messaging. Be sure to explore all of the methods conference organizers have set up for you to interact with other participants.

Virtual conferences are still a good place to share research, exchange ideas, and to learn. The platforms just require us to adapt to new ways of connecting and engaging, and with a little planning you can get the most out of your conference experience.

I would love to hear about your virtual conference experiences. Please share any tips you have learned in the comments below.

Meet the Researchers – Veronica Fuxa and Vincent Pinion

Meet UCO students Veronica Fuxa, Senior English Education Major, and Vincent Pinion, Senior Master’s Student in Experimental Psychology. Their faculty mentor is Dr. Anastasia Wickham. Veronica got involved in her research through preparing to student-teach. She noticed how some teachers reacted towards technology usage such as Google Classroom and Chromebooks. “In my education courses, we learn about different technologies, but we are never sure which ones are effective in the classroom since we did not have any experience. I wanted to analyze teachers’ reactions towards ‘essential technologies’ and use quantitative analysis to determine different groups’ attitudes towards classroom technology.”

Meet the Researcher – Savannah Melher

Due to circumstances surrounding COVID-19, University of Central Oklahoma student researchers were unable to present at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research. In the next few weeks, we will be highlighting some of these phenomenal students and their research.

Savannah MelherFirst is Savannah Melher, a Senior Strategic Communications Major with Dr. Mary Carver as her faculty advisor. She got involved in undergraduate research through the McNair Scholars program on Campus. Savannah was invited to the 2020 NCUR Conference to present her research, “Reporting in Race: the Depiction of Black Oklahomans.” The purpose of the study is to research depictions of race in the media. Prior studies focused on politics and how news stories favor one candidate over another or how the media favors a political party, thus addressing how the media can be a tool for gaining political preference. Savannah concludes in the present study that the same can be said regarding race depiction in the news media.