SAC Ballroom A was turned into a maze of posters and people this past Wednesday as students were brought together to celebrate their research for Stony Brook University’s annual URECA event.
URECA’s, or Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities,’ Celebration of Undergraduate Research & Creativity is an event that is an opportunity for students to showcase their undergraduate research.
URECA was started in 1987. The office of Undergraduate Academic Affairs works with the staff of the Center for Science and Mathematics Education to administer the URECA program.
“This is a great way for students to come and support each other and learn about topics they are interested in,” said Daphne Menza, a graduate student who attended to support a friend.
Students work on posters, abstracts and exhibits in order to be able to present their research. Upon entering the event, viewers were provided with a comprehensive booklet to navigate the 268 posters and a CD that holds every student’s abstract.
Undergraduates have the opportunity to dive into research from research-oriented introductory classes. Students are encouraged to take part in supervised research projects independent from class and are offered support when it comes to writing abstracts, giving presentations and finding mentors for their research.
URECA offers the opportunity for students to present research conducted from other departments such as humanities, social sciences and even fine arts.
Jessica Rybak, a senior women’s and gender studies major did research about the history of feminism in Stony Brook.
“I wanted to see how the merging of women’s studies with another department affected the campus,” she said.
Renee Elizabeth Hartig, a senior biology major with a concentration in neuroscience, was there not only presenting her research on the brain, but also was promoting the Neuroscience Axis club, which was revived in 2010.
“It’s a great way to network with people,” Hartig explained. “Sometimes professors will come to look at projects but it’s mainly students. URECA is a great way to get your five minutes of glory and recognition for all of your hard work.”
In addition to research presentations performed by Stony Brook undergraduate students, there were also presentations from high school students who had done the Intel Science competition in connection with the university.
“I’m so excited to be here and be able to see all of the other presentations but also take part in this,” said Mayuri Sridhar, a high school senior who had taken part in the Intel science competition with her project on proteins in the body.
Students also had the opportunity to listen to oral presentations given by the College of Arts and Sciences as well as the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences. Presentations at the celebration were not judged, but students were still drawn in by the presentations, interactive displays and live performances and talks.
The URECA Celebration was supported by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the Center for Science & Mathematics Education.