O.U.R. delivers relevant research, awards and panel discussion during Expo 2020

The Office of Undergraduate Research recently hosted the Seventh Annual Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities Expo 2020. For the first time the event was held virtually over Zoom allowing 22 undergraduate students to present 21 projects from their spring 2020 semester research. A record 116 attended the event. 

Research represented varying fields of study from biology to kinesiology to speech and hearing sciences.
OUR Research
Research in the physic's lab.

Research topics addressed wide ranging but relevant real-world issues such as the treatment of diabetes, new ways to measure anaerobic metabolism in individuals, higher education challenges facing first-generation Latinx students and the impact of tourism on the Gulf Coast.

“The presentations showed the potential Lamar University now has in undergraduate research projects,” said Cristian Bahrim, acting director of the Office of Undergraduate Research and professor of physics. “We have research facilities and support from faculty and grants to run undergraduate research projects, which are competitive at the national and international level.”

In April 2020, LU undergraduate researcher, Daniel Quispe, was invited to present his research project on solar cells efficiency at the prestigious and highly competitive “Posters on the Hill,” in Washington, D.C., the premier undergraduate focused annual event of the Council of Undergraduate Research.

The Expo also included a panel discussion featuring four former Lamar University undergraduate researchers who are currently earning master’s degrees at Lamar University, Rice University and Indiana State University. The discussion, “The Impact of Undergraduate Research in Pursuing Graduate Studies,” allowed each of the students to encourage others to research and answer questions about their personal research experience. Get information about the panelists.

During the Expo, Dr. Ian Lian, associate professor of biology, was recognized as the 2020 Faculty Mentor of the Year. Additionally, the Office of Undergraduate Advisory Board Members, awarded undergraduate researchers for the Best STEM Presentation and the Best Humanities, Arts, Social & Behavioral Sciences, Education & Business Presentation.

The 2020 award winners are:

Best STEM Presentation
STUDENTS: Caitlyn Clark & Emily Ingram
MENTORS: Drs. Ozge Gunaydin-Sen & Cengiz Sen
PROJECT TITLE: Investigations of Autocatalytic Phenomena using a Continuously Stirred Tank Reactor and Python Simulations

Best Humanities, Arts, Social & Behavioral Sciences, Education & Business Presentation
STUDENT: Anna Sigur
MENTOR: Dr. Jamie H. Azios
PROJECT TITLE: Understanding Design Features of Aphasia-Friendly Written Material: What Matters Most to People with Aphasia?
FIELD OF STUDY: Speech and Hearing Sciences 

Best Video Presentation in STEM
STUDENT: Daniel Quispe
MENTOR: Dr. Jian Cao, Northwestern University
FIELD OF STUDY: Material Sciences, Department of Mechanical Engineering

“Since 2013, the interest of Lamar University undergraduate students and faculty in research and creative activities has increased each year,” said Ken Evans, president of Lamar University in his address at the EXPO. “Even during these difficult times – hurricanes, pandemics and personal trials that have come with these events -  the spirit of research, presentation and competition has been strengthened because of faculty support and commitment, hardworking and extraordinary students and research resources including facilities and equipment. I’m proud of LU’s commitment to undergraduate research and the success of this year’s program.”