More than 500 student authors were represented at Miami’s 21st annual Undergraduate Research Forum, sponsored by the Office of Research for Undergraduates (ORU) and held April 15 during the Council on Undergraduate Research’s “Undergraduate Research Week.”
The majority of student work was displayed in three poster sessions, with other work presented during six oral presentation sessions. Whereas the number of oral presenters remains quite consistent from year to year, the number of students on posters has steadily increased each of the past several years (up about 8% from last year). This shows the increasing footprint that undergraduate research has at Miami, and bodes well for efforts to involve 40% of students with some type of mentored research experience, according to the unifying goal of Miami’s 2020 strategic plan.
Work representing 37 departments and programs from across all of the university’s academic divisions was presented. Furthermore, these were not just graduating seniors who took part—although two-thirds of the registered participants were upperclassmen, more than 10% were freshmen.
During the lunch-time celebration, attendees heard remarks from President David Hodge, Provost Phyllis Callahan, Associate Provost for Research & Scholarship and Dean of the Graduate School Jim Oris, and ORU Director Joe Johnson. Attendees also viewed the debut of a video titled “Faculty-Driven Undergraduate Research,” which highlights the role faculty play in the development of undergraduate research capacities, such as unique experiences in Cincinnati’s Over-the-Rhine neighborhood.
For the first time this year, students from the College of Creative Arts showcased their work in the event’s common areas. One of these featured artists was Kirsten Ledbetter, a junior double-majoring in Art Education and Studio Arts, with concentrations in ceramics and painting. Ledbetter was available to discuss her works and the creative processes that produced them, to illustrate how “research” exists in all disciplines across Miami’s campuses.
Written by Joe Johnson, Director, Office of Research for Undergraduates, Miami University.
Photo of Kristen Ledbetter’s work by Joe Johnson. Photo of Undergraduate Research Forum student presenter by Miami University Photo Services.