UTC's Brock Scholars Present At Undergraduate Research Conferences

Thursday, July 17, 2014

This year, UTC's Brock Scholars students went to two conferences for the first time, the National Conference on Undergraduate Research and the Southern Regional Honors Council.

“They are able now to put on their vita or resume that they presented their work at a national conference. It shows that their work was competitive and was selected competitively,” said Dr. Linda Frost, dean of the Honors College at UTC. “And that becomes increasingly important – it doesn’t matter what you plan to do, law school, med school, something else, it always looks good that you’re already professionally savvy.”

Sixteen UTC students presented at SRHC in Savannah, Ga. There were 600 participants at this conference, with 253 papers and round tables, as well as 81 posters and visual art exhibits. UTC Brock Scholars students’ presentations ranged from an analysis of nicotinic alkaloids in e-cigarettes to a mockumentary on the emerging band, Pillow Talk. The conference showcased outstanding undergraduate research and explored the ways honors education has challenged and changed education overall.

“This conference is really geared towards undergraduate research,” said Dr. Frost, who served as the president of SRHC this past year.

Saba Munir, a senior biology major in the Brock Scholars program, was elected as an executive committee member at SRHC.

“I looked into the position and found it to be interesting, so I ran for one of the three student member seats on the board. I had to pass out flyers and speak a little bit about myself at the general business meeting, where the elections would take place. Once elected, I attended a meeting after SRHC was over to talk about the conference as well as plan some for next year’s,” said Ms. Munir.

Ms. Munir, last year’s Brock Scholars Council president, put together a panel specifically about honors leadership. With Dr. Frost’s help, she got in touch with other student leaders in the region and from there, the panel of five planned the presentation together. The panel of five did not meet until the morning of the presentation.

“I think it worked out best that we didn’t have time to talk much before the presentation because the panel itself at the conference seemed very organic and conversational as opposed to a rehearsed presentation. It was definitely a new angle to work from and an overall meaningful experience,” said Ms Munir.

The group plans to present again at the National Collegiate Honors Council (NCHC) this November in Colorado.

“My experiences at SRHC this year were completely foreign and new to me. While I was nervous about both at first, they helped me get out of my comfort zone in different ways, and I know that I will be able to benefit from these experiences in the future,” said Ms. Munir.

NCUR is also focused on undergraduate research, welcoming presenters from all institutions of higher learning and from all corners of the academic curriculum.

“We want to give students as much professional experience as possible. We want to give them as many opportunities as we can to practice something and not be perfect and not be penalized for it,” said Dr. Frost. “These conferences give students a great opportunity to have that professional experience, to talk about their work with a totally different audience, to network and to meet other students.”

The conference had over 2,000 participants. UTC students Zeke Sudbury, an Engineering major, and Maria Matty, Psychology major, gave poster presentations, while Chelsea Sokol, English/French double major, gave an oral presentation.

The Brock Scholars intend to attend the National Collegiate Honors Council (NCHC) conference next year, with a concentrated effort on having more students present. Six students have already expressed interest in presenting at NCHC, Munir amongst them.

“Even though this is starting in Brock Scholars and the Honors College, it will not stop there. The idea is to promote this across campus, to help as many students as we possibly can,” said Dr. Frost. “One of our learning outcomes for the Honors College is that students will have learned not just to create a product – research – but they will also have publicized that work. But we hope to serve not just our students, but students across the university who are interested in doing research, preparing presentations on their research.”

Dr. Frost says that they are hoping to develop an all discipline journal undergraduate research journal, as well as other projects that will provide more opportunities for all UTC students to publicize their research.


Gestamp To Host Manufacturing Week Event In Chattanooga

TNECD Commissioner Randy Boyd will visit Gestamp on Tuesday as part of Manufacturing Week. Commissioner Boyd will hear from students involved with Gestamp’s work-based learning programs as well as Hamilton County and Cleveland city high school students enrolled in robotics-certification classes.  Gestamp Chattanooga 3 (Chassis) is at 4120 Jersey Pike. (click for more)

Lee’s Fall Convocation To Begin Sunday

Lee University students, faculty, and staff will soon come together for a time of personal reflection and spiritual growth during this semester’s Convocation. The seven-service event will take place over a period of four days. President Paul Conn will open the series Sunday, Oct. 2.  “I always enjoy Convocation week each semester,” said Dr. Jimmy Harper, Lee’s campus pastor. ... (click for more)

County GOP Chairman Says Berke Should Resign For Admittedly Using Encrypted Messaging With Top Staff; Berke, Lee Call It Blatant Partisan Attack

Hamilton County Republican Party Chairman Tony Sanders said Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke "should immediately resign after admitting that he and his senior staff employ an encrypted message application that neither records or stores messages sent and received for the purpose of official city of Chattanooga business on a government-owned server." He said he was guilty of "deliberates ... (click for more)

Grohn Says Berke Use Of Encrypted Message Service Was Deliberate Attempt To Avoid Open Records

City Councilman Larry Grohn said Friday  that the use of an encrypted message service by Mayor Andy Berke was a deliberate attempt to avoid the Open Records Act. Councilman Grohn, who is running for mayor, said, " In recent days, there has been one story after another come out concerning how the Mayor and his head staffers have used end-to-end encryption apps to ... (click for more)

Chattanooga's Citizens Are The Best

Today, when I finished my shift, my wife and I had a rare kid-free time where she and I could enjoy a nice quiet dinner. So, when I left my extra job and she left her job, we met at a neat local place in St. Elmo. She and I had been looking forward to and planning this dinner all day. You see, between my work with the city of Chattanooga, my many hours of extra jobs, and our responsibilities ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Knobfather & Me

I’ve seen some beautiful things in my life. I’ve eaten dinner inside the Eiffel Tower with the city of Paris all aglitter below. I’ve been sprayed by champagne in the Dallas Cowboys’ dressing room after they won the Super Bowl. I’ve stood both at the top and at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. I’ve snorkeled in the Great Exuma islands, learned to snow ski in the Austrian Alps, and ... (click for more)