August 19, 2014

Summer is for undergraduate research at the UW

By Undergraduate Academic Affairs

For most, campus life is a little quieter during the summer but undergraduates continue to pursue research in a range of disciplines, from STEM fields to the humanities. They’re preparing to show their summer projects to a broader audience as well. Undergraduates participating in one of several summer research opportunities at the University of Washington will present their work August 20, 21, and 22. Details about each presentation session follow.

UW Summer Research Poster Session

  • Wednesday, August 20, 9 a.m.-noon, Mary Gates Hall Commons

Undergraduates from the UW and from around the country present their work in this poster session. Students showing their work participated in one of 20+ summer research programs including the Amgen Scholars Summer Program, Howard Hughes Medical Institute Exceptional Research Opportunities Program, Hooked on Photonics, Pharmacological Sciences Summer Diversity Program, and more.

Portrait of Amgen Scholar Emi Lutz in lab

David Ryder

Amgen Scholar Emi Lutz worked in Dr. Pun’s lab this summer.

The Amgen Scholars Program is a highlight of summer undergraduate research opportunities. Each summer, 25 undergraduates from the UW and around the country come to the UW to participate in and contribute to faculty research in the biomedical sciences in an intensive research experience.

“This summer I had the pleasure of working in Dr. Pun’s bioengineering lab to find peptides that bind to T-cells for cancer immunotherapy applications,” says Emi Lutz, who will be a UW junior majoring in bioengineering. “Thanks to the Amgen program, I now have a better idea of graduate school and my career goals.”

Amgen Scholar Nora Munger will be a senior at Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota, where she is majoring in chemistry and art history. As an Amgen Scholar at the UW, she studied proteins with mass spectrometry in Professor Matthew Bush’s lab in the Department of Chemistry. “I am using a new technique to look at the structure of proteins in the gas phase,” she says. “The Amgen Scholars Program encouraged me to pursue creative research ideas for my future. I am fascinated by the relationship between art history and science, so in the future I hope to combine scientific techniques with the study of art and historical objects.”

Oral Presentations of Summer Research

  • Thursday, August 21, 2:30-5 p.m., Mary Gates Hall rooms 171, 284, and 288

Students participating in the Amgen Scholars Program, Howard Hughes Medical Institute Exceptional Research Opportunities Program, and Center for C-H Functionalization will present and discuss their work.

Summer Institute in the Arts and Humanities Symposium

  • Friday, August 22, 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Allen Library Auditorium

“What I enjoy the most about the Summer Institute in the Arts and Humanities is that it is a collaborative and inter-disciplinary space,” says history and political science major senior Anna Nguyen. “I almost never get a chance to take classes outside of my major, so it is wonderful to see how other participants from different academic fields approach the same questions.”

This summer, Nguyen and 17 other undergraduates, three faculty members and one graduate student explored the theme “Native Modernities: Histories, Politics, and Arts of Indigeneity” through seminar lectures and discussions, individual research projects, and informal conversations.

Picture of students talking on the grass

Students in the Summer Institute in the Arts and Humanities take advantage of the sunshine to discuss their projects.

Through the Summer Institute, students are learning about the “rich histories of Native struggles, contemporary (trans)national Indigenous social movements, and,” as told through the course description, “repertoires of decolonizing artistic, cultural, and intellectual production.”

Nguyen’s project, titled “We Became the Cavalry,” explores “the complicated and distinctive relationship that Native veterans had with the U.S. military-industrial complex during and after the Vietnam War.”

Senior Tahoma Wrubleski participated in the Qatuwas Festival, a week-long gathering in Bella Bella, British Columbia, Canada culminating First Nation and Native American lengthy canoe journeys. Organizers expected more than 100 canoes paddled by more than 1,000 pullers and more than 5,000 visitors from the Pacific Northwest and around the world.

In the Summer Institute, Wrubleski, a Latin American studies major, used tribal canoe journeys “as a point of departure to explore the interconnections between Indigeneity, masculinity and allyship in furthering projects of decolonization and self-determination.”

In addition to participating in the Qatuwas Festival, a highlight of the program for Wrubleski was the “opportunity to work so closely with such knowledgeable and inspiring professors on a theme I am so passionate about personally.”

Nguyen, Wrubleski and their fellow students will present their research at the Symposium on Friday.

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