CUR’s First Virtual Posters on the Hill Showcases Undergraduate Research to Policymakers, Scholars, and the Public

On April 21, students from colleges and universities across the nation will participate in the 2020 Posters on the Hill event, sponsored by the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) with support from the American Chemical Society (ACS) and Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers-USA. This year, because of COVID-19 challenges, undergraduate researchers and faculty mentors from institutions such as Butler University, California State University–Fullerton, and University of Chicago will come together online to share their research on topics ranging from archaeological findings providing insight into Sicily’s indigenous peoples and a courageous theologian’s defiance of the Nazis to the relationship of probiotics and the human gut, and a method in chemistry that shows promise for treatment of Alzheimer’s disease (visit the poster abstracts). The poster session will take place on Twitter on April 21, 2020, at 12 pm EDT (use hashtags #POH2020 and #POHGoesVirtual).

CUR, in collaboration with ACS and other organizations, holds the annual Posters on the Hill event to highlight the work of undergraduate researchers from across the country to Members of Congress, congressional staffers, federal government officials, academics, and others, demonstrating the value of federal investment in undergraduate research. The event is highly selective—institutions’ most gifted researchers are judged by a national panel of experts in their fields, and only the best teams are chosen. Past participants have gone on to contribute significantly to the research enterprise, such as Sarah Caudill, a scientist at Nikhef who was part of the team that discovered gravitational waves.

“CUR’s first virtual Posters on the Hill presents many exciting opportunities,” said CUR Executive Officer Lindsay Currie. “Not only will congressional representatives and their staff members be able to learn about innovative research, scholarship, and creative inquiry by exceptional undergraduate researchers but national and international scholars, journalists, and members of the public will be able to interact with these students and their work. Posters on the Hill powerfully demonstrates the benefits of investment in undergraduate research for students, faculty, institutions, and communities around the world.”

A sample of the Posters on the Hill participants:

  • Lauren Bergeron, Albion College (MI). Read about her project that uncovered some surprising aspects of white Union soldiers’ perceptions of white Southerners during the Civil War.
  • Sara Heridia, Trinity University (TX). Read about her project that examined US presidents’ leadership opportunities and constraints, which were affected by their political era.
  • Ethan Naquin, Nicolls State University (LA). Read about his project that analyzed antibiotic-resistant genes in southeastern Louisiana waterways.
  • Grace Ostermiller, Montana Technological University (MT). Read about her project that sought to increase the efficiency of an air compressor/vacuum pump, which has implications for a wide array of industries.
  • Jordan Teng, Mercer University (GA). Read about this collaborative project that created 3D yearbooks for blind high school students.
  • Madison Wojciechowski, Penn State Berks (PA). Read about her project that developed more water-resistant and adaptable arm casts for patients.

For further information about the event, contact Liz Fray Hains, manager of student programs.

Founded in 1978, the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) focuses on providing high-quality and collaborative undergraduate research, scholarly, and creative activity. Among the many activities and networking opportunities that CUR provides, the organization also offers support for the professional growth of faculty and administrators through expert-designed institutes, conferences, and a wide-range of volunteer positions. The CUR community, made up of nearly 700 institutions and 13,000 individuals, continues to provide a platform for discussion and other resources related to mentoring, connecting, and creating relationships centered around undergraduate research. CUR’s advocacy efforts are also a large portion of its work as they strive to strengthen support for undergraduate research. Its continued growth in connections with representatives, private foundations, government agencies, and campuses world-wide provides value to its members and gives voice to undergraduate research. CUR is committed to inclusivity and diversity in all of its activities and our community.

CUR focuses on giving a voice to undergraduate research with learning through doing. It provides connections to a multitude of campuses and government agencies, all while promoting networking and professional growth to its community.