Undergraduate Researchers to Share Discoveries at Expo

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By La Monica Everett-Haynes, University Communications February 24, 2014

UA students will showcase their yearlong research projects at the UA's 27th annual Honors Research Expo.

Photo credit: University of Arizona RedBar

Azucena Gonzalez (Photo credit: David Scott Allen, UA Honors College)

John Keck (Photo credit: David Scott Allen, UA Honors College)

Ian Liu (Photo credit: David Scott Allen, UA Honors College)

Nageena Khalid (Photo credit: David Scott Allen, UA Honors College)

Angela Wu (Photo credit: David Scott Allen, UA Honors College)

Alex McIntyre (Photo credit: David Scott Allen, UA Honors College)

An undergraduate research program at the University of Arizona has allowed students from across the University of Arizona campus to spend a full year exploring topics in the sciences and humanities.

On Wednesday, they'll share their findings during the UA's annual Honors Research Expo. The event will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the North Ballroom of the Student Union Memorial Center, 1303 E. University Blvd. The public is invited to attend.

"Discovery is at the heart of the mission of the University of Arizona and its Honors College," said Patricia MacCorquodale, dean of the Honors College, which sponsors the expo.

"Through the Undergraduate Research Grant Program, students are able to reach far beyond the traditional classroom setting and participate in experimental learning through hands-on research," MacCorquodale said.

"Students learn from their successes and failures," she said. "Many projects result in publications, conference presentations, job offers and fellowships to graduate school."

This year, 22 students were selected to present during the research expo. A few of their projects are highlighted here.

  • Azucena Gonzalez, a senior studying psychology and sociology, is investigating how Hispanic patients respond to their physicians. In particular, Gonzalez is working to understand how acculturation shapes peoples' perceptions and behaviors. Gonzalez is working with  Jeffrey Stone, a psychology professor.

  • Nageena Khalid, a UA Honors College junior studying neuroscience, is investigating the associations between hypertension and memory in middle age adults. Khalid is also working with Ryan. 

  • John Keck, a UA Honors College senior studying anthropology, investigated the magnetic properties of pottery from classical Mediterranean archaeological sites, mainly in Turkey and Minorca. The focus on magnetism is an emergent area of study and is being used by the Arizona State Museum's Conservation Laboratory staff. Keck is working with Nancy Odegaard, conservator for the museum, and recently submitted an article on his project for publication.

  • Ian Liu, a UA Honors College sophomore studying molecular and cellular biology and also Spanish and Portuguese, is analyzing the "crisis in American education." Liu's work considers cultural expectations and pressures on education systems to understand public debates about what people perceive or understand about the crisis. Liu is working with Karna Walter, the Honors College's assistant dean for student engagement.

  • Alex McIntyre, a UA Honors College sophomore studying journalism, interviewed and photographed rock climbers to gain an understanding of their personal drive for self-improvement. McIntyre's work explores the motivations that keep  people committed to such rigorous endeavors. He with Joseph Labate, an associate professor in the School of Art.

  • Angela Wu, a UA Honors College senior studying physiology, studied the history of acupuncture. As part of her investigation of practitioners in both Beijing and Tucson. Wu sought to understand how the practice, in modern applications, is being used to treat obesity – especially as a cost-effective alternative to other forms of treatment. Wu worked with Eric Price, a lecturer in the Department of Physiology.

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