UNCG’s Eighth Annual Carolyn and Norwood Thomas Undergraduate Research and Creativity Expo included 111 presentations by 158 students working with 84 faculty mentors representing 39 academic departments.

The Office of Undergraduate Research is now the Undergraduate Research, Scholarship and Creativity Office (URSCO). The name change promotes the disciplinary diversity of scholarship represented by the many academic departments at UNCG. In this spirit of inclusivity, the office has also added “and Creativity” to the Expo title.

National Undergraduate Research Week is April 14-18.

Professor Emeritus Terry Nile, of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, received the first Thomas Undergraduate Research Mentor Award. Nile has mentored more than 200 undergraduate students during his career at UNCG and continues this tradition in retirement with nine students working by his side this year.

Former UNCG Associate Provost for Research, Dr. Rosemary Wander, was recognized for her outstanding vision, leadership and dedication to faculty-mentored undergraduate research. Her foresight and vision for an office dedicated to supporting the involvement of undergraduates in scholarly inquiry was on the crest of what is now a national trend.

The URSCO is dedicated to promoting and supporting student success through faculty-mentored undergraduate research, creative expressions and other scholarly experiences for the UNCG community. The expo highlights the diversity of disciplinary scholarship for and through our students in order to help cultivate a culture of lifelong inquiry.

Here are the 2014 award winners:

Visual Arts

1st Place: Gabrielle Ocampo, “What it’s Like to Sleep.” Faculty mentor: Sheryl Oring.

2nd Place: Michael Bannerman, “The Complete Astrologer & His Time Capsules.” Faculty mentor: Barbara Campbell Thomas.

3rd Place: Elizabeth Traub, “Don’t Listen.” Faculty mentor: Nikki Blair.

Honorable Mention: Billy Hawkins, “Ako no. 1.” Faculty mentor: Barbara Campbell Thomas.

Behavioral, Economic, Educational and Social Sciences

1st Place: Brent Nara, David Frank and Michaela Zavagnin, “The Influences of Mood and Mindfulness on Age-related Differences in Mind Wandering in a Reading Task.” Faculty mentors: Dayna Touron and Michael Kane.

2nd Place: Jonathan Latta and Julie Campbell, “The Development of Hand Preference in Infants Between 8 to 14 Months.” Faculty mentor: George Michel.

3rd Place: Meg Smith, “How Children Think About Math.” Faculty mentors: Nicole Dobbins and Vicki Jacobs.

Honorable Mention: Joylyn Troyer and Catherine French, “Sustainable Glenwood.” Faculty mentor: Travis Hicks.


1st Place: Emily Gering, “Development in Latin’s Basic Color Terms.” Faculty mentor: David Wharton.

2nd Place: Eliana Mundula, “Learned, Mannered, and Titled: Baccio Bandinelli’s Self-Referential Work in the Context of the Changing Status of the Artist.” Faculty mentor: Heather Holian.

3rd Place: Rachel Chaney, “There are Worse Crimes than Burning Books: How the Graphic Novel Enhances the Rhetorical Aim of Bradbury’s ‘Fahrenheit 451′.” Faculty mentor: Hephzibah Roskelly.

Life, Mathematical and Physical Sciences

1st Place: Daniel Nasrallah, “Investigation into the Syntheses and Applications of Cyanocarbenes.” Faculty mentor: Mitchell Croatt.

2nd Place: Jonathan Nelson and Shan Yu, “Epigenetic Modulation of WNT5A Expression in the Human Colorectal Cell Line HCT-116.” Faculty mentor: Karen Katula.

3rd Place: Harry Rybacki, “OSF SciNet: Crowd-Sourcing the Scientific Citation Network.” Faculty mentor: Andrew Jensen.

Honorable Mention: Jason Howard, “Exploring charge independence of the strong force by modeling neutron-proton scattering.” Faculty mentor: Deepshikha Shukla.

Story and photo courtesy of URSCO