The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

National Conference of Undergraduate Research to feature plenty of Blugolds

Students working on research projects in collaboration with faculty have the opportunity to present their work this week at the National Conference of Undergraduate Research.

UW-Eau Claire is among 300 universities who will be represented at the conference April 11-13 at UW-La Crosse. Sixty-three students and 16 faculty members from Eau Claire will present their undergraduate research at the conference.

According to the university’s website, faculty/student research collaboration is funded by differential tuition. Full-time undergraduates pay a fee of $81.50 per semester, with the university collecting approximately $1,500,000 each year.

In 2010, faculty/student research collaboration was allocated $539,003, according to the website. Approximately 36 percent of funding therefore was directed towards faculty/student research collaboration that year.

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Junior Abby Nygaard began her research in 2011 and has dedicated four semesters to completing it. She is scheduled to have two presentations at the conference, both related to the Blugold Beginnings program.

Nygaard said her work is represented on a poster, and people approach her to ask questions. The presentations last anywhere from five to ten minutes, she said.

Nygaard said the most challenging part of the research was getting responses from the surveys.

“Getting students in the control group to respond to our surveys was really difficult,” she said. “Even with the added incentive of giving them gift cards.”

Junior Jenny Barth has been using primary documents to build her research on the first Eau Claire President, Harvey Schofield, for about a year. She will be presenting a poster on Friday at 3:30 p.m.

“I’m excited to be able to do this research and be able to present it to other people,” she said. “It’s rewarding to be able to get them enthusiastic about the subject.”

Barth said an internship at the Eau Claire Special Collections and Archives led her to her research. She said the most difficult part was having no secondary sources.

Assistant Vice Chancellor for Research and Sponsored Programs Karen Havholm is the director of the Center of Excellence in Faculty and Undergraduate Research Collaboration.

She said the number of applications continues to increase and therefore the percentage rate of projects funded might decrease in the future.

Havholm said she submitted a bid to the Council of Undergraduate Research to have the conference at Eau Claire. Part of that process involved elaborating on the campus and community abilities in hosting a large number of people, she said.

Havholm said there is a chance Eau Claire could eventually host the conference.

“They didn’t want to host it in Wisconsin again too soon,” she said. “They will invite us to bid again for a future conference maybe a few years down the road.”

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