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.


Lu And Liu Take First Place In Lee’s Piano Competition

Yun Lu and Vincent Liu took first place in the 12th annual Lee University piano competitions for the collegiate and pre-collegiate divisions, respectively. The award ceremony concluded the International Piano Festival and Competition held June 12-18.  For the pre-collegiate division, second place was awarded to Jonathan Reichenberger, with third place going to Eriko Darcy ... (click for more)

Georgia Northwestern's GED Center To Hold Orientation

Georgia Northwestern Technical College’s (GNTC) GED Center is holding an orientation for the public on  June 28 and July 12 at 2 p.m.  Visitors will learn what to expect if you choose to enroll in the college’s GED preparatory classes at the college’s Chattooga County location. These free sessions will be held at the Summerville Adult Education Center at 152 Senior ... (click for more)

Fire Destroys Highway 58 BBQ

A fire destroyed a barbeque restaurant on Highway 58 on Friday afternoon.   Chattanooga firefighters were dispatched to the Highway 58 BBQ around 6 p.m. The business is located at 4921 Highway 58. Though the business was housed in a small building, the flames and smoke could be seen from a long distance away.  Captain Teri Rose with Quint 6 said the ... (click for more)

2nd Independent Candidate May Be On Walker County Ballot

A second Independent candidate may be on the ballot for sole commissioner of Walker County in the election on Nov. 8. Perry D. Lamb, Jr. has been working toward collecting the necessary 1,640 signatures of registered voters on a petition. His campaign said he is close to the goal. Incumbent Bebe Heiskell is running an an Independent. Election officials said since she was ... (click for more)

Save Coolidge Park - And Response (2)

Last Monday morning while at work a good friend messaged me concerning a matter that I had not heard anything about dealing with Coolidge Park and its future. Apparently that night the City Council was to read an ordinance that would allow the mayor to start negotiations with the relocation of the Medal of Honor Museum. This ordinance would enable the city to lease approximately ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Looking For A Wife

Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, is a really cool place. I tried to buy a huge mounted buffalo head in an antique store there one time until I found out the shipping charges were four times what the head was worth. But suddenly my rapt attention is riveted on Coeur d'Alene again because a dazzling social experiment is taking place this very moment at a plush resort in north Idaho. Several ... (click for more)