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July 15, 2014

Undergraduates present at summer research symposium

Nearly 300 Michigan State University undergraduate students, visiting students participating in MSU summer research programs and students from select institutions will showcase their research at the 2014 Mid-Michigan Symposium for Undergraduate Research Experiences from 1 to 4 p.m. July 23 at the Jack Breslin Student Events Center.

This event provides students involved in research within any MSU research program, and at select institutions across Michigan, the chance to be evaluated and to share their work with peers, faculty and other external audiences. Mid-SURE presentations fall into 14 different categories: agriculture and animal science; biochemistry and molecular biology; biosystems and agricultural engineering; cell biology, genetics and genomics; chemical engineering and materials science; civil and environmental engineering; computer science and engineering; electrical and computer engineering; environmental science and natural resources; epidemiology and public health; integrative biology; mechanical engineering; physical and mathematical sciences and social, behaviorial and economic sciences.

Students present their posters, which offer a visual representation of their research through text, charts, graphs and other visual aids. Evaluators provide feedback in the following areas: introduction and goals, methods, results, conclusions and future work, poster presentation and verbal presentation.

The symposium also features a graduate school recruitment fair that provides an opportunity for Mid-SURE participants to talk with graduate school recruiters from across the country about a variety of graduate studies programs and additional research opportunities.

Approximately one-third to one-half of the students participating in this event are from underrepresented populations in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. According to 2010 data from the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Census Bureau, underrepresented minorities earned 18.6 percent of total undergraduate degrees from four-year colleges, but only 16.4 percent of the degrees were in science fields and less than 14 percent of the degrees were in physical sciences and engineering.

Mid-SURE represents a collaborative effort between the MSU Undergraduate Research Office, the MSU Graduate School’s Summer Research Opportunities Program, the MSU College of Engineering’s Summer Undergraduate Research Experience, the BEACON Center for the Study of Evolution in Action and the MSU Research Education Program to Increase Diversity in Health Researchers.

By: Stepheni Schlinker