Campus News

CURO symposium features undergraduate research

Undergraduate researchers from UGA will present their creative and scholarly works at the annual Center for Undergraduate Research Opportunities Symposium April 10 from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. at the Tate Student Center. Oral presentations, poster sessions and student exhibitions in the performing and visual arts will be part of the event. UGA undergraduates also will present their summer research conducted at New York University, the University of Michigan and Harvard University.

One of the highlights of the symposium is the faculty keynote address, given this year by Jace Weaver (right), director of UGA’s Institute of Native American Studies and professor of religion and Native American studies. He will speak about “Polycentrism: Interdisciplinary Work in the Academy” at 4 p.m. in Georgia Hall.

“Undergraduates at UGA have the opportunity to conduct research and present at meetings and conferences specific to their own disciplines,” says Pamela Kleiber, associate director of the Honors Program, which administers CURO. “The CURO symposium offers a unique opportunity for students to present and interact with students and faculty outside of their discipline.”

CURO has hosted the symposium for the past six years as a forum for undergraduate researchers to share their faculty-sponsored projects with a wider audience, including their peers.

“I see the CURO symposium as an opportunity to polish up my public-speaking skills in a professional setting in front of knowledgeable individuals,” says Fei Yang, an Honors senior chemistry and genetics major who will be making his second appearance at the symposium. “In addition, I enjoy listening to the research conducted by my peers as it is a way to assess my position compared to the best and brightest UGA has to offer.”

Many projects, including Yang’s, lay the groundwork for future career directions of the students. His project focuses on Streptomyces coelicolor, a common soil bacteria that makes up 70 percent of the world’s antibiotics, an area of science he would like to explore as a research scientist.

Andrew Leidner, an Honors senior economics major, says that conducting a research project keeps him aware of the literature in his field and how to assess what he reads with a critical eye. His project with Pejman Rohani, a faculty member in UGA’s Institute of Ecology, focuses on how interactions of the two diseases will affect the virulence of each disease.

The symposium also serves as an outlet for humanities and arts students to showcase their creativity. Shehzeen Choudhury, a senior English major, will give a reading of “American Stranger,” a short story she composed under the guidance of Reginald McKnight, Hamilton Holmes Professor in the English department.

“In this short story, I have tried to merge the American world with the Bangladeshi world through custom of the arranged marriage and the conflicts that ensue. All my stories are based on or inspired by true stories,” says Choudhury.

A part of the symposium, student artwork will be on display in the fourth floor rotunda of the Student Learning Center, and the artists will give gallery talks about their individual pieces.