The SEPA 2018 annual conference was the first time I showcased my original research on a poster. There is a common understanding in the academic world that poster presentations are the most casual and easy part of any conference. This understanding did not stop me from being excited or anxious as I drove to Charleston. My poster was scheduled to be in the third and last poster session, which means I had plenty of time to not only fret over my knowledge of my own research but also attend the other poster sessions to get an idea of what was coming my way.
It took me all of five minutes, after I entered the first session, to realise that I was in the soup. Here was a room packed with people from various sub-fields of psychology, with different interests, and belonging to a wide variety of backgrounds. While it was overwhelming to be amidst the products of so many research initiatives, my anxiety transformed with each poster into an appreciation of the opportunity that I received through the support of the Honors Program at UT.
I learned a tremendous amount about the current research avenues of Psychology from just being in the presence of scholars and fellow college students who presented their research or led a discussion group at the conference. Moreover, I was able to visit some of the interesting historic and natural sites that Charleston has to offer. The Honors Program encouraged my endeavour to develop my own research and helped me achieve my goal to present at a conference, for which I am incredibly grateful.
Honors Program student Jason Behnke, who recently presented his research on aspects of the UT experience that contribute to student satisfaction at the Florida Collegiate Honors Council conference, has been featured on the UT website. The article discusses the research he conducted with Dr. Jen Wortham.
Working with Dr. Abraham Miller, Honors student Laura Hearst recently combined a trip to California to attend the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology Conference with a visit to the California Academy of Sciences to examine some scorpion specimens. The pictures above show Laura and Dr. Miller examining the scorpions. The research is part of her Honors Undergraduate Research Fellowship.
On Friday, April 28th, Faith Taylor presented on her travels as the recipient of the Timothy M. Smith Award for the 2016-2017 academic year. Faith traveled to the Bahamas with Professor Michael Slattery of The University of Tampa to study a coral reef that was documented nearly 50 years earlier. They spent several days snorkeling in the reef, taking photos, and gathering data. This initial visit provided enough information to allow Faith and Dr. Slattery to develop a research program that will continue to investigate the reef.
On April 20th and 21st, eight recipients of Honors Undergraduate Research Fellowships presented the results of their work in two separate symposia. The students – Zachary Gregg, Nicholas Braganca, Christian Pilot, Tonie Schankweiler, Daniela Delvescovo, Nicoletta Pappas, Ricardo Thompson, and Kelly Fryar – studied a variety of topics, from the pervasiveness of antibiotic resistant staphylococcus aureus in the Hillsborough River to the factors that contributed to the growth of the Bolivian GDP. Honors Undergraduate Research Fellowships pay students $1,000 to work with a UT faculty member conducting original scholarship.
Honors student, Christian Pilot, recently presented his research project, Buffer Therapy for Cancer, that he has been working on at Moffit Cancer Center, at the annual meeting of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in Chicago. This presentation is part of his ongoing research into foods that can provide a buffering effect against the acid used by cancer cells to weaken and kill surrounding cells in order to spread.