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UNCP professors present undergraduate research at CURE Summit

May 11, 2017

Undergraduate research at The University of North Carolina at Pembroke took center stage during a recent CURE Development Summit in Greensboro.

A UNC System-wide summit was held at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro April 30 – May 1.

Last fall, the University of North Carolina received 28 proposals from 14 UNC institutions, and the four top-ranked proposals were selected to receive funding.

Faculty at UNC Pembroke were a part of the four teams selected as recipients of Undergraduate Research Awards. Course-Based Undergraduate Research Experiences (CUREs) was among the three areas of focus for research.

The participating UNCP faculty and their research presentations were:

  • Dr. Scott Hicks, English, Theatre, and Foreign Languages, “Incorporating CURE in First-Year Composition”
  • Dr. Ryan Anderson, History; “A Research Intensive Introduction to American Studies”
  • Dr. Jamie Litty and Professor Terence Dollard, Mass Communication; “Sequential Art and the Creative Process”
  • Dr. Maria Santisteban, Biology, “Genomics for Undergraduates”
  • Drs. Lisa Kelly and Conner Sandefur, Biology, “Metagenomics Bioblitz: Discovering the Microbial Diversity of the Lumber River”

According to Dr. Anderson, director of the Pembroke Undergraduate Research and Creativity Center at UNCP, the summit acted as a forum where attendees could discuss the successful implementation of CURE.

The summit also promoted the implementation of CURES across the system in a variety of disciplines, and at different points in undergraduates’ academic careers; and it established a network of CURE developers within the grant partnership and across the UNC system.

UNCP faculty who participated at the summit and contributed to event workshops competed for and won funding that supported the development of CURE opportunities at UNCP.

“These faculty members are all people who mentor undergraduates who take on research in their courses,” Anderson said. “It is a unique opportunity at UNC Pembroke that so many different students get the chance to do something at UNCP that is usually reserved for graduate students or select students in specialized undergraduate programs.”

Undergraduate research is a learning tool in which undergraduate students explore a topic or discipline and make a unique contribution to the research or scholarship in that field.

Students who participate in undergraduate research are generally more likely to remain in school and are more likely to engage in various professional activities. They are also more likely to continue their education beyond their undergraduate studies and are more competitive for jobs.