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Fostering Exploration and Creative Excellence

A student researcher discusses her work with an attendee at a past year's Undergraduate Research Conference. (Photo by Mark Schmidt)

ALBANY, N.Y. (April 27, 2016) — The breadth and depth of undergraduate research at UAlbany will be on display for the 13th year at the annual Undergraduate Research Conference this Friday from 3 to 7 p.m. in the Lecture Center Concourse.

Scheduled are 24 oral presentations from topics that range from environmental pollution on Staten Island’s north shore to a brief history of the late chain gain prisoner and fugitive Leon Johnson, to viral immunity in yeast to a critique of minimalism. Another 25 students will display a posters spotlighting their research, followed by informal discussions with those interested in learning more about their efforts.

“What our students are discussing represents work from the best and the brightest on our campus,” said professor of psychology and Vice Provost and Dean for Undergraduate Education Jeanette Altarriba. “Many of our presenters have already accepted entry into graduate, medical, or law schools or are preparing to enter positions and careers that further their learning and research skills.”

Altarriba’s office, along with the Honors College, hosts the conference, and she, Honors College Interim Director Leslie Halpern, and Provost James will offer welcoming remarks.

She noted that the conference, which began in 2004, underscores how UAlbany faculty members across the academic spectrum focus on providing opportunities for students to learn skills in research design and implementation. Faculty advisement has been an essential component in the accomplishments of these student researchers.

Such mentorship holds true as well for this year’s recipients of the Presidential Undergraduate Research Awards, who will be presented at 4 p.m. by Vice President for Research James Dias. They, and their faculty advisors, are:

  • Roi Ankawa: “Is the Effect of Glucose on Hippocampal Memory Insulin-Dependent?” Faculty Advisor: Ewan McNay, Psychology
  • Eliza Barach: “Tweet Sentiment Analysis with Pronoun Choice Reveals Online Community Dynamics in Response to Crisis Events.” Faculty Advisor: Laurie Beth Feldman, Psychology
  • Zana Beck: “Effectiveness of Beer Keg Registration Laws on Reducing Underage Drinking.” Faculty Advisor: Baris Yoruk, Economics
  • Kaitlyn Bellettini: “Let’s Watch Our Lives on the Screen: Reality TV, Video Game Vlogging, and the Endless Search for Identity.” Faculty Advisor: Mary Valentis, English
  • Brian Bollen: “Irrational Eigenvalue of the Discrete Laplacian after Subdivision.” Faculty Advisor: Alexandre Tchernev, Mathematics and Statistics
  • Tomer Burg: “Analysis of Late Summer Heat Waves in the Northeast US.” Faculty Advisor: Lance Bosart, Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences
  • Nicole Cardinale: “Unique for its Time: Head of a Moor by Peter Paul Rubens.” Faculty Advisor: Sarah Cohen, Art and Art History
  •  Kelsey Fleming: “Neuronal Glutamate Transporter EAAC1 Regulates Anxiety and Motor Activity in Mice.” Faculty Advisor: Annalisa Scimemi, Biological Sciences
  • Anh (Ami) Minh Le: “Colorimetric Assay for Discerning Sex for Fingerprints.” Faculty Advisor: Jan Halamek, Chemistry
  • Troy Norton: “Mimesis in Practice: The Intersection of Artistic Reproduction and Politics.” Faculty Advisor: Morton Schoolman, Political Science
  • Emily Schlierer: “The Effects of Social Media Use on Foreign Fighter Recruitment for ISIS.” Faculty Advisor: Dana Peterson, Criminal Justice
  • Aisling Sive: “Marti and Marx: Cuba’s Denial of Racism.” Faculty Advisor: Christine Preble, Latin American, Caribbean and U.S. Latino Studies.

“This event showcases the many ways in which the University at Albany is keeping in step with its broader goals and commitment to the advancement of knowledge, and to the teaching of students and their intellectual growth through co-curricular experiences,” said Altarriba. “Undergraduate research is a cornerstone of our mission to foster creative excellence, stimulate the exploration of new ideas, and promote applied learning that complements and informs classroom learning experiences.”

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About the University at Albany
A comprehensive public research university, the University at Albany offers more than 120 undergraduate majors and minors and 125 master's, doctoral, and graduate certificate programs. UAlbany is a leader among all New York State colleges and universities in such diverse fields as atmospheric and environmental sciences, business, criminal justice, emergency preparedness, engineering and applied sciences, informatics, public administration, social welfare, and sociology taught by an extensive roster of faculty experts. It also offers expanded academic and research opportunities for students through an affiliation with Albany Law School. With a curriculum enhanced by 600 study-abroad opportunities, UAlbany launches great careers.