March 4, 2022

English Department Students and Faculty at the Utah Conference on Undergraduate Research  

USU’s English Department was well represented at the 16th annual Utah Conference on Undergraduate Research (UCUR) hosted in St. George, Utah, on February 25. The conference, modeled after the National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR), is designed to showcase the best undergraduate work from students all over the state. Undergraduates from all disciplines are invited to apply for the conference, which provides an excellent opportunity for students to present their work in a scholarly setting to other students, faculty, field specialists, and community members. Presentations include both visual and oral displays of work in all academic disciplines.  

Preston Preston Waddoups, mentored by Dr. Michaelann Nelson, presented “Philosophies of Death and Identity in the Works of Virginia Woolf.” Preston's research grew out of an essay he began for Michaelann’s ENGL 3345: British Literature After 1900 course. 

Mentored by CHaSS Associate Dean Matt Sanders, Caitlyn S. Rogers, who is an American Studies and Communication Studies double major, presented Exploring River and Watershed Organizations' Views on Collaboration.” 

Claire Mayfield
worked with the Disabilities Resource Center to complete her project, “Working with your Brain: A Study of the Writing Processes of Women Writers with ADHD.”  

Bonnie Swenson, who presented at Research on Capitol Hill earlier this month, shared “Nobody Died! The Significance of Women’s Voices in the Hole-in-the-Rock Expedition.” 

Finally, Josie Rivera, an English Teaching emphasis student, was also accepted to present, focusing on “The Language of Classroom Design: How Aesthetic Impacts Learning.” These three students presented research that grew out of ENGL 3470, Approaches to Research in English Studies, taught by Dr. Joyce Kinkead.   

UCUR was the brainchild of Joyce when she directed USU’s undergraduate research program and brings together all institutions in the state—public and private—to showcase student research, scholarly, and creative projects. The conference is organized by a committee of representatives from educational institutions across the state. Currently, Dr. Alexa Sand represents USU, and Athena Dupont of the Research Office is also a crucial organizer. It celebrates academic, professional, and personal achievements resulting from undergraduate research projects or creative endeavors.  

UCUR’s mission is to promote undergraduate research, scholarship and creative activity, done with the mentorship of faculty members, through an annual conference. According to the Council on Undergraduate Research, undergraduate research is an inquiry or investigation conducted by an undergraduate student that makes an original intellectual or creative contribution to the discipline. It is a truly high-impact educational practice.  

For more information about the 2023 conference to be hosted at the University of Utah, please visit the UCUR webpage.  



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