UW News

May 12, 2005

Young talents to shine in May 13 Undergraduate Research Symposium

News and Information

This year’s Undergraduate Research Symposium will attract more than 500 participants — a growth of ten-fold in the program’s eight-year history.

Student participants come from all three UW campuses, as well as all 12 schools and colleges. In addition, there are some participants from Seattle University, The Evergreen State College and Seattle Pacific University.

The event kicks off at noon on Friday, May 13, in the Mary Gates Hall Commons with a welcome from President Emmert and the formal poster session, followed by a series of presentation sessions from 1:30 to 3 p.m. and 3:30 to 5 p.m. A second formal poster session will be at 3:30. Posters and oral presentations highlight the work of undergraduate researchers across disciplines, who will present on a wide variety of topics such as nanotechnology, new medical treatments involving high-intensity focused ultra-sound, immigration and human rights, ecological studies of northwest fisheries, theoretical approaches to dance, and many others.

This year, the symposium will honor three faculty mentors: Stephen Hanson, professor of political science; Gabrielle Rocap, assistant professor of oceanography; and Michael Regnier, associate professor of bioengineering. Nominations were solicited from students participating in the symposium, with final choices made by symposium organizers in the Office of Undergraduate Education. Video comments from students about their mentors, as well as other comments about the important role of research in their education, will be replayed continuously during the symposium.

Among the statements from students:

“Research has definitely been the defining aspect of my educational experience at the University of Washington. I love having the opportunity to attempt to answer questions that have yet to be answered and in the process begin asking questions that may never have been asked.” — Sara Van Nortwick, sophomore, bioengineering (Space Grant and Mary Gates Scholar)

“For my application to the Honors program here four years ago I wrote that, of all the powers in the world, I would want the gift of showing others their own potential. Professor Stephen Hanson has that very gift, and has inspired me, advised me on a variety of issues, and, most importantly, believed in my capacity to do more than I knew I could. As a mentor, he has overseen my specific research projects, but also encouraged me to think about the world in general at deeper and more meaningful levels. His commitment has been truly extraordinary.” — Candace Faber, political science, Russian and Eastern European studies.

This year’s presenters include a number of UW students who have received national honors: Elizabeth Gray, Gates-Cambridge scholar; Erik Mvukiyehe, Merage scholar; Jared Silvia, Churchill scholar; Jonathan Su, Eliana Hechter, Anna Schneider and Lesley Everett, Goldwater scholars; Kayanna Warren, Udall scholar; Kristi Govella, Bieneke scholar and Jennifer Lee, honorable mention Goldwater scholar.

A complete schedule can be found at http://www.washington.edu/research/urp/symp/index.html.

The Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium is sponsored by the Office of Undergraduate Education, Office of Research, the Mary Gates Endowment and the UW Undergraduate Research Program.