Friday, September 28, 2012

Tips from the Veterans #2

What one of our seasoned participants wants new presenters to know:

"For students preparing for their first presentations at URCA, I would suggest practicing a good deal before the symposium so your presentation is as polished as it can be. Practice in your room, practice in front of your friends, or even in front of a class, so you can feel as prepared as possible. But ultimately, I hope students will enjoy the experience. Everyone presenting is in the same situation as you, so take your time, breathe, and enjoy yourself!" --Megan Wise (Speech Communication and Broadcast Communication), 2012 URCA Presenter

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Call for Abstracts: 2013 URCA Symposium

The Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity Symposium Committee is pleased to announce the call for abstracts for the Fourth Annual College of Arts and Sciences Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity Symposium. This event will highlight the research, scholarly and creative activities of students throughout the College of Arts and Sciences, and will be held on Wednesday, April 10, 2013.  All students who are declared majors in a program within the College of Arts and Sciences are encouraged to participate in this year’s Symposium.  Presenters may choose to give an oral presentation, poster presentation, exhibition, or a performance.  All presentations should have a significant research or creative component; examples include, but are not limited to summer research conducted at Ashland University or elsewhere, results of independent study projects, thesis work, literary readings or analysis, musical or theatrical performances, and exhibitions of artwork.
Students who wish to present at the Symposium should prepare an abstract in Microsoft Word and email that Word document to the URCA Symposium Committee at All abstracts submitted require approval of a faculty sponsor who is familiar with the student’s work and can attest to the quality of the work.  Students should copy their faculty sponsors on the email that contains the submission. The deadline for submitting abstracts is 5:00 p.m. on Monday, January 28, 2013.
 A complete submission must include ALL of the following:
A. Name of Student Presenter(s)
B. Campus AND Home Addresses of Student Presenter(s)
C. Class Year (e.g. junior, senior) and Major(s) of Student Presenter(s)
D. Name of Faculty Sponsor
E. College of Arts and Sciences program in which the work is focused (e.g. Biology, Psychology, Music)
F. Title of the Presentation
G. Preferred Format of Presentation (Poster Presentation, 12 Minute Performance, 12 Minute Oral Presentation, or Art Exhibition)
H. Special Equipment Required (PCs and projectors are provided; if no other equipment is needed, please indicate “No special equipment needed”)
I. Body of the Abstract (250 words or fewer)
J. Anticipated Scheduling Conflicts for Symposium on 4/10/13 (e.g. COBE class meetings, athletic events, other commitments that cannot be moved on this date; if none, please indicate “No scheduling conflicts anticipated”)

Students who would like to see examples of acceptable abstracts may view abstracts from the prior years’ events by clicking on the tabs at the top of the blog (right under the main banner). The URCA committee will hold an abstract writing workshop in January in order to assist students in polishing their abstracts.  In the meantime, if you have any questions about presenting at the Symposium or the abstract submission process, please don’t hesitate to contact the URCA Committee at or Dr. Diane Bonfiglio at

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Join CUR's Registry of Undergraduate Researchers

Are you planning to attend graduate school?  Would you like to be contacted by graduate programs that are seeking students for programs that match your research interests?
If so, consider adding your name and information to The Registry of Undergraduate Researchers, a database maintained by the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR).   According to CUR, the registry is intended to “facilitate matchmaking between undergraduates who have research experience and a desire to pursue an advanced degree, with graduate schools seeking high quality students who are well prepared for research.”  Undergraduates upload their data into the Registry at no cost, and graduate programs pay for access to the database.  Graduate programs then may contact students in the database to invite them to consider a specific graduate program.  The information in the database is made available only to graduate programs; the information in the database is not sold for other marketing purposes.
Undergraduates may visit to add their information to the database.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Presenter Profile: Dantan Wernecke

Dantan Wernecke (Political Science) presented "The Happy Empire: Aristotle, Publius, and the American Regime" at the 2012 URCA Symposium, and "Now That's What I'm Talking About: The Anomaly of the Upper North Dialect in United States English" at the 2011 URCA Symposium.
Here’s what Dantan has to say about his experiences with URCA:
"My first year I actually presented research in the field of English, specifically linguistics. As a political science and history major, it allowed me to branch out of my usual course of study. As an English minor, it was right up my alley nonetheless. It was nice to be able to flex different academic muscles and work closely with my faculty sponsor Dr. Hilary Donatini. That presentation was about the Upper North Dialect in United States English.
"I had such a great time presenting. It was fun speaking to a large audience. I really do think we all had a good time learning and laughing together.
"This last spring I presented part of my research for my senior thesis - something I decided to call "Universal Regime Theory" dealing with Aristotle's "Politics."  I also enjoyed presenting. This time it was more of an intellectual challenge to me as it forced me to be critical about how I was presenting research that I never truly articulated aloud before. For this URCA presentation, I have to thank my faculty sponsor Dr. Justin Lyons.
Overall, presenting at the URCA has prepared me for the future and my post-grad plans. As a graduate student this year, I know my experiences presenting have given me confidence in front of a crowd and confidence in my ideas."

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Symposium Showcases Original Artwork

The 2012 URCA Symposium included some stunning art pieces, including these from artist Joshua Risner's exhibition "Windows into a Harmonious Reality,"

and these these from artist Jennifer Winkler's exhibition "Visual Didacticism: Promoting Morals through Modernized Narrative Sculpture."

(Photo credit: Matt Tullis)

Don't miss the 2013 URCA Symposium on April 10, 2013! We hope to showcase more of AU's talented undergraduate artists at the event, alongside more of our tremendous researchers, writers, and performers.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Submit Your Work to ALJSR

The Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) just posted a call for submissions to the Academic Leadership Journal in Student Research.  According to CUR, "The Academic Leadership Journal in Student Research is an annual, online, peer reviewed, international journal dedicated to the publication of student research within all disciplines and of pedagogically based professional work that explores the intersection of student research with teaching and faculty research.

"Submissions should range between 2500-3750 words.  Student submissions should follow stylistic guidelines current in the discipline represented.  Faculty submissions should follow APA guidelines.  Submissions should be sent as Microsoft Word attachments to"

If you would like help readying your work for submission, contact Dr. Bonfiglio at or

For even more news about undergraduate research opportunities, find CUR on Facebook by clicking here

Monday, September 17, 2012

Tips from the Veterans #1

What one of our seasoned participants wants new presenters to know:

"I would definitely recommend presenting to any student in the CAS. If they choose not to, they truly are missing out on a unique opportunity the CAS provides for their scholars.  For first time presenters, I would suggest that they just try and have fun and really enjoy their scholarship.  We pay a large amount of money and invest a considerable amount of time to do what we do and we should want to shout our accomplishments from the rooftops and the URCA symposium is on of the best ways for an undergraduate to gain experience doing just that." 

--Dantan Wernecke (Political Science), URCA Presenter in 2011 & 2012

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Presenter Profile: Megan Wise

Megan Wise (Speech Communication and Broadcast Communication) presented two oral presentations, “Profiling and Detecting Deceitful Communication in Security Screening” and “Medical Professionalism and Ethics” at the 2012 URCA Symposium.

Here’s what Megan has to say about her experience with URCA:

“The URCA Symposium was an extremely beneficial experience to be exposed to a new component of research at the undergraduate level. From the initial stages of gathering information and statistics to actually presenting my research, it was a wonderful opportunity to submerse myself in the research aspect of my discipline at the collegiate level.  Presenting at the URCA Symposium was a great way to practice for upcoming presentations and conferences and receive valuable feedback.

“Regardless of one’s major, I would definitely recommend that students participate in URCA. It is a beneficial learning environment where you are surrounded by peers, friends, and faculty members who are there to support you and help you succeed. It is a great venue to practice for upcoming conferences where you can learn about your strengths and weaknesses in your presentation delivery, and then continue to grow as you prepare for different conferences and events.”

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Posters on the Hill Accepting Submissions

The Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) is currently accepting submissions for the 2013 Posters on the Hill Event.  During this event, undergraduate researchers are selected to exhibit their research on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.  According to CUR, "this event helps members of Congress understand the importance of undergraduate research by talking directly with the students whom these programs impact."

In 2011, undergraduate researchers Daphne Allyn Guinn and Jennifer Miller and their faculty advisor, Dr. Jeff Weidenhamer, represented Ashland University and the State of Ohio with their poster "Cadmium contamination of consumer products: An emerging threat to children’s health." 

Abstracts are due by November 1, 2012. You can learn more about this event and how to submit an abstract by clicking here.

2013 Symposium Date Set

The 2013 URCA Symposium is set for Wednesday, April 10th in Upper Convo on the campus of Ashland University.  The Call for Abstracts will be released soon- stay tuned for details!