OGDEN, Utah – On the eve of spring break, when many students are confirming flights, buying sunscreen and packing bathing suits, more than 45 Weber State University students will be presenting their research at the National Conferences for Undergraduate Research in Salt Lake City.
The students will present their research on topics ranging from the role of superstition in modern aviation to the effects of caffeine on blood cholesterol to the nomination and confirmation process for Supreme Court justices. In all, WSU students had 30 different projects accepted for presentation at the conference.
The three-day conference, held at the University of Utah, March 13-15, will bring together more than 2,400 student presenters and faculty from across the nation. The conference will feature 2,070 presentations representing more than 300 colleges and universities.
“The great majority of research projects at universities involve graduate students and faculty,” said Kathleen Lukken, associate provost at WSU. “What makes this opportunity unique is that all of the research being presented was conducted by undergraduate students.”
More than 15 WSU faculty members from a variety of disciplines advised the students on their research. Much of the research involves students from natural and social sciences, but students in health professions, education, engineering and visual arts will also present their research.
Lukken said the number of departments involved underscores WSU’s emphasis on encouraging students to collaborate with faculty on undergraduate research projects.
“These projects really help our students, whether they are preparing for graduate schools or interviewing for employment,” Lukken said. “These students are doing something above and beyond the basic requirements. They are self-motivated individuals, capable of taking on leadership roles.”
The Mission of the National Conferences on Undergraduate Research is to promote undergraduate research, scholarship, and creative activity done in partnership with faculty or other mentors as a vital component of higher education.
For more information about the conference, call (801) 587-2980 or visit http://conferences.utah.edu/ncur2003/.
For a list of topics being presented by WSU students at the NCUR 2003, visit