Undergraduate Research Conference

To submit a proposal to present at the 2015 Undergraduate Research Conference, download the proposal form.

             The 2015 Undergraduate Research Conference
                                          will be held
                    Friday April 24 and Saturday April 25.

About the Undergraduate Research Conference

University at Albany's annual Undergraduate Research Conference began in 2004 to highlight the research and creative work of undergraduates at UAlbany. Since then, undergraduates have shared their research and creative work each year with their peers, the university faculty, and the community.


All undergraduates at the University at Albany are encouraged to participate in the Undergraduate Research Conference. The conference is held every spring, and is free and open to the public. Family members, friends, and faculty mentors are invited to come in support of students presenting their research and creative work.

There are several ways for students to present their research.

Posters:  Posters provide an opportunity for students to present their research and have extended, informal discussions about their research with those interested in learning more about it.  Students create a large poster on which their research is described.  About a dozen students display their posters during an hour-long session (we provide the board for posting the poster).  Guests circulate, read the posters, and talk with students about their research.  Poster presenters can also see the research of the others presenting during their session - which provides a good environment for the exchange of information and ideas with other student researchers. More information about preparing and presenting a poster is available.

Papers:  Three or four students present a paper during a paper session.  Each student has about 15 minutes to make a presentation.  Information can be displayed using PowerPoint or other technologies.  There is a question & answer period following all the students' presentations.  More information about preparing and presenting a paper is available.  Each paper session is moderated by a student, and information on how to moderate a session is available.

The 2014 Conference

The 2014 Undergraduate Research Conference was held on April 25th - 26th. There was a poster session in the LC's followed by the presentation of the Presidential Undergraduate Research Awards. Following the award ceremony there was the first set of oral presentations. The presentations ranged from Music to Biology and everything in between, Saturday there were also two more sets of  oral presentations.

Presidential Undergraduate Research Award Recipients

Christie Allen: Social Welfare: “Assessing the Challenges of the Rural Elderly through a Social Work Lens”
Faculty Mentor: Professor Blanca Ramos

Anthony Balzano: History: “An Ideological Schism: More Regulation or Less?”
Faculty Mentor: Professor Carl Bon Tempo

Rachel Brotman: Psychology: “Learning to Differentiate “Mates” from “Maids”: Optimal Training Strategies to Reduce Cognitive Uncertainty When Remembering Accented Speech”
Faculty Mentor: Professor Laurie Feldman

Katie Brown: Biology: “Molecular mechanisms of adaptation to SIV (simian immunodeficiency virus) at the host CD4 locus”
Faculty Mentor: Professor Caro-Beth Stewart

Alvin George: Psychology: “LPS-induced inflammation facilitates insulin resistance and neurodegeneration characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease”
Faculty Mentor: Professor Ewan McNay

Megan Gura: Biology: “The 5'-Untranslated Region of SOCS2 mRNA, a Gene Involved in Successful Central Nervous System Axon Regeneration in Xenopus laevis, is Alternatively Spliced”
Faculty Mentor: Professor Ben Szaro

Yufeng Li: Mathematics: “Elementary inequalities about Mahler measure of polynomials”
Faculty Mentor: Professor Rongwei Yang

Kristin Kozlowski: Criminal Justice: “In what ways, if any, do situational crime prevention techniques impact male-on-female sexual offending?”
Faculty Mentor: Professor Graeme Newman

Jeremy Manheim: Chemistry: Differentiation of Human, Animal and Synthetic Hair by ATR FTIR Spectroscopy”
Faculty Mentor: Professor Igor Lednev

Marisa Mazart: English: “Breaking Bad: On the Western Genre and Audience Reception”
Faculty Mentor: Professor Jennifer Greiman

Gabriella Melillo: Psychology: “The effect of emotional intelligence on the relationship between negative mood and risk taking”
Faculty Mentor: Professor Edelgard Wulfert

Gloria Moran: Public Policy: “Regulation Blood: Determining alternative approaches to the FDA's MSM Blood donor screening regulation through probabilistic modeling”
Faculty Mentor: Professor David Anderson

Lindsay Oltz: Biology: “The Role of the DDX6 Prion-like Domain in Hepatitis C Virus Gene Expression and Virus Assembly”
Faculty Mentor: Professor Cara Pager

Zachary Sedefian: Anthropology: “Obligatory Contour Principle violations in a previously undocumented dialect of Manyika (Bantu)”
Faculty Mentor: Professor Lee Bickmore

Emily Wierzbowski: English: “The Isolated Self: A Re-imagining of the Human in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Mamoru Oshii’s Ghost in the Shell films”
Faculty Mentor: Professor Patricia Chu

The complete program for the 2014 conference can be found here.

The 2013 Conference

The 2013 Undergraduate Research Conference was held on April 26-17 in the UAlbany Lecture Center.  After the first poster session on Friday afternoon, the Vice President for Research, Professor James Dias, presented the recipients of the Presidential Undergraduate Research Awards and the Endowed Research Awards.  Paper presentations by students in many disciplines from across the University were then presented Friday evening and Saturday afternoon.

Recipients of the Presidential Undergraduate Research Awards were:

Stanly Abraham: Biology: “Direction of Embryonic Salivary Gland Development and Differentiation by Rac1.”
Faculty Mentors: Melinda Larsen and Sharon Sequeira.

Julie Ann Bingham: English: “Walking Corpses & Conscious Plants: Possibilist Ecologies in Graphic Novels.”
Faculty Mentor: Eric Keenaghan.

Zachary Grieb: Psychology: “The Role of Progesterone Receptor in the Mediation of GABAergic Neurons.”
Faculty Mentor: Christine Wagner.

Autumn Kuklinski: Psychology: “Hulk Smash! Regulating Anger Requires More Self-control Strength.”
Faculty Mentor: Mark Muraven.

Max Lawatsch: English: “A Revolutionalized Coterie: The Transformation of British Romantic Critical Practices and Contemporary Internet Fora”
Faculty Mentor: Kir Kuiken.

Ian Andrew Lepkowsky: English: “Social Media Fetishism: The Substitution of Life and Disavowal of Death.”
Faculty Mentor: Mary Valentis.

Austin Gunner Litwhiler: English: “From Pulp to Webpage: Homestuck and Postmodern Digital Narrative.”
Faculty Mentor: Patricia Chu.

Luis Gabriel Sanchez: Globalization & Latin American, Caribbean and U.S. Latino Studies: “Andean Cosmologies in the Ontological Crisis of the 21st Century.”
Faculty Mentor: Fernando Leiva.

Kevin Smith: Anthropology: “Experiencing Kaqchikel Tikonela.”
Faculty Mentor: Walter Little.

Heather Smith: Psychology: “The Effects of Progesterone Receptor on Development of Serotonergic Circuits that Mediate Cognition.”
Faculty Mentor: Christine Wagner

Courtney von Hahmann: Chemistry: “Diastereoselectives synthesis of pentafluorosulfanylated β-lactams, precursors for docetaxel modification.”
Faculty Mentor: John Welch.

Arianna Wedin: History: “How and for what reasons did American medical doctors react to the Vietnam War and how did they relate their reasons to their profession?”
Faculty Mentor: Carl Bon Tempo.

Recipients of the Endowed Research Awards were:

Justin Coon: Biology (Neuroscience): “Nanochemoprevention of breast cancer: Enhanced delivery and anticancer effects of pomegranate polyphenols in breast cancer cells.”

Faculty Mentor: Ramune Reliene.   Greenwald Endowment

Kathryn Fanning: Biology: “Antibiotic intolerance and resistance: Aminoglycoside binding to bacterial and human ribosomal RNA targets.”
Faculty Mentor: Paul Agris   Schmid Endowment

Alvin J. George: Biology (Neuroscience): “Effects of galanin on cholinergic modulation of memory and hippocampal insulin activity: Interactions with amyloid and Alzheimer's disease.”
Faculty Mentor: Ewan McNay   Zimberg Endowment

James Iuliano: Chemistry: “Characterizing the Metastic Phenotype of Cancer Cells using Nanotopography.”
Faculty Mentor: Nadine Hempel   Greenwald Endowment

Rajan Kumar: Nanoscale Science with Biology Focus: “Molecularly imprinted polymers for development of an in-situ biosensor.”
Faculty Mentor: Magnus Bergkvist   Schmid Endowment

Alex Schin: Biology: “The role of the functional domains of the human RNA helicase RCK/p54 on hepatitus C virus gene expression.”
Faculty Mentor: Cara Pager   Greenwald Endowment

Bradley Sutliff: Nanobioscience: “Aptamer-linked nanoparticles for targeted drug-delivery to ovarian cancer cells.”
Faculty Mentor: Nadine Hempel   Greenwald Endowment

Alex Talamo: Nanoscale Science: “Using bioglycogen dendrimeric nanoparticles as novel, non-toxic transfection agents to deliver siRNA molecules against oncogenes to ovarian cancer cells.”
Faculty Mentor: Nadine Hempel   Greenwald Endowment

The complete program from the 2013 conference is available.

The 2012 Conference

The 2012 Undergraduate Research Conference was held on Friday afternoon, April 27 and Saturday, April 28 in the UAlbany Lecture Center. For the first time, we held one day of the conference on a Friday - which allowed many more students and professors to attend. As in the past, the conference included poster presentations and paper presentations.  Dr. Susan Phillips, the Provost of the University, presented the Provost Award for 2012 to three students and an  Honorable Mention to ten students.


Provost Awards were presented to:

Elizabeth Akua Apraku Activity-Dependent Sharpening of the Retinotectal Map in Zebrafish: The Role of Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinase

Katelyn DiBenedetto Analyzing Tophets: Did the Phoenicians Practice Child Sacrifice?

Michael Johnson Reduction of attention and escape maintained high rate verbal threats and aggression in an adult male with autism through a multi-element applied behavior analytic therapy program in a group home setting.

Honorable Mentions were presented to:

Laura Colaneri “Tened cuidado: Lo que ahi habita, no es humano”; Human and Inhuman Monsters in Pan’s Labyrinth as Expressions of a Collective Heritage of Fears

Joseph Fanti The Role of Lim Kinase in Salivary Gland Development and Morphogenesis

Katiana Hebbert Duke Ellington - I am Not a Jazz Artist

Thomas Postiglione The Structural Characterization of Insulin Fibril Oligomers Using Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (SERS)

Rastislav Rar The Impact of Terrorist Attacks on Sovereign Bond Yields of Targeted Countries

Luis Gabriel Sanchez Reversing the forces of Liberticide in Haiti: Reconstructing a failed Haitian state after the disasters of 2010

Ariana Schechter How the evolution of hip hop as a culture transformed and transgressed the physical environment of New York City by innovative usage of public space

Kevin Smith Experiencing Kaqchikel Tikonela’

Samantha Testa Inhibition of Bacterial Biofilm Formation by Natural Product Inspired Organic Compounds
Cuauhtémoc Vidal-Guzmán Animal Consumption Patterns at the Mayapan Periphery: Assessing Diversity on Public Structures 

The 2011 Conference

The 2011 Undergraduate Research Conference was held on Saturday, April 2 and Sunday, April 3 in the UAlbany Lecture Center. As in the past, the conference included poster presentations and paper presentations. You can view the complete program for the conference.

Professor James Dias, the Vice President for Research,opened the Undergraduate Research Conference by presenting this year's Provost Awards - presented to the best research projects at the conference. This years recipients were:

Nicholas Cantales, Major in Finance, "Is the use of Arbitrage an Effective Strategy in Institutional Portfolios?" Project Advisor: Professor David Smith

Ali Chaudry, Major in Physics, "Robust and Economical Autonomous Navigation via Advanced Bayesian Methods." Project Advisor: Professor Kevin Knuth

Kathryn Swimm, Major in History, "The Ascension and Deterioration of the Rights of Dutch Women in Albany: 1650-1750." Project Advisor: Professor Richard Hamm

Eight additional students received an Honorable Mention for their research presentations:

Alicia Bentley, Major in Atmospheric Science "A Preliminary Climatology of Tropical Moisture Exports in the Southern Hemisphere." Project Advisor: Professor Lance Bosart

Lauren Berchoff, Major in English " The Role of Rosalind in William Shakespeare’s Play As You Like It." Project Advisor: Professor Langdon Brown

Jillian Caramanna, Major in English " The Backwards Making of a Heroine: Mary Cowden Clarke’s Girlhoods and Their Importance in the Shakespearean Conversation." Project Advisor: Professor Martha Rozett

Gregg Castellucci, Major in Linguistics " A description of the Plattsburgh, New York dialect of North American French and an analysis of its liaison retention and innovation." Project Advisor: Professor Cynthia Fox

Meredith Dedopoulos, Major in Criminal Justice " An Assessment of a Batterer Intervention Program." Project Advisor: Professors Alissa Worden

Andrew Orayfig, Major in Psychology " Cultivation of Mindfulness and Acceptance Processes in ACT and CBT: A Randomized Clinical Trial in a Pure Self Help Context."
Project Advisor: Professor John Forsyth

Daniel Sellers, Major in Biology "Further Studies on DNA Coordination with Hafnium Oxide." Project Advisor: Professor Nathaniel Cady

Cuauhtémoc Vidal-Guzman, Major in Anthropology "Signs of Violence at Mayapán: A comparison between the Taphonomy of human and animal remain." Project Advisor: Professor Marilyn Masson


The 2010 Conference

The 2010 Undergraduate Research Conference, held on April 17 and 18, was much larger than the conferences held in recent years - reflecting the greater involvement of undergraduates at UAlbany in the research process in all majors. More than 80 students presented their research and scholarly work. Two poster sessions were held on Saturday, and a series of concurrent paper sessions took place both afternoons.

The Provost of the University, Susan Phillips, opened the Undergraduate Research Conference by presenting this year's Provost Awards - presented to the best research projects at the conference. This years recipients were:

Dylan Depice: “Cooperation and Altruism: Intrinsic Mechanisms of Self-Interest.” Project Advisor: Dr. Morton Schoolman

Karen Torrejon: “Synthesis Optimization and Characterization of T3 Encapsulated Chitosan-PLGA Nanoparticles and Their Effect on Angiogenesis.” Project Advisor: Dr. Shaker Mousa

Stacey Farmer:“Alternative Treatment Delivery Systems: A Randomized Clinical Trial Evaluating the Effectiveness of ACT in the Treatment of Generalized Anxiety Disorder.” Project Advisor: Dr. John Forsyth

Honorable Mentions were received by:

Jason Behnke “Bacterial Growth Inhibition of Nanomaterial-Modified Fabrics.” Project Advisor: Dr. Nathaniel Cady. Collaborator: Aaron Strickland.

Nicole Cappuccitti “Imaginary Attachments and Wonderful Expressions: Misguided Purposes of Marriage in 19th Century British Literature.” Project Advisor: Dr. Randall Craig

Steven DeBraccio “The Legality of Solitary Confinement.”

Neelam Gera “Analysis of Internal Tension of DNA Kissing Complexes through Florescent Resonance Spectroscopy.” Project Advisor: Dr. Pan Li

Barbara Graham “Bioengineering Tissue Constructs Using Elastic Alginate Hydrogels.” Project Advisor: Dr. Melinda Larsen. Interdisciplinary mentors: Dr. Yubing Xie and Dr. Magnus Bergkvist.

Erika Kneeland “Respiratory Sinus Arrythmia Functions as a Buffer Against Effects of Harsh Parenting.” Project Advisor: Dr. Elana Gordis

Laura Mariconda “The Role of Par Complex in the Development of the Retinotectal Map in Zebrafish.” Project Advisor: Dr. John Schmidt

Kaitlin McGrath “Ridiculed Diminished Oppressors: The Portrayal of Colonial Period Japanese in Korean Films.” Project Advisor: Dr. David Eason

Jonathan Nardi “The Effect of Mutual Fund Size on Index-Adjusted Returns.” Project Advisor: Dr. David M. Smith

Thomas J. Rivera “Tax Policy Implications for Inter-State Migration.” Project Advisor: Dr. Laurence Kranich

Michelle Stiles “Neuropsychological Performance in Cannabis Users and Non-Users Following Motivation Manipulation.” Project Advisor: Dr. Mitch Earleywine

A full copy of the conference program is available. The program includes the schedule of poster and paper sessions in the front and descriptions of each student's project after the schedule. Professors who mentored each student's research project are listed in the descriptions.

A full copy of the 2009 conference program is also available.