Thirty-four Hamline students presented their vigorous, in depth research studies at the prestigious National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) this spring. Held in La Crosse, Wisconsin, this year's conference had over 3,000 attendees, and welcomed projects from across all academic disciplines.
Assistant professor of political science Alina Oxendine and six other faculty members attended with students to give support and feedback on their presentations.
“NCUR gives wonderful insight into academia, seeing how conferences work, and excellent practice in presenting arguments and ideas,” Oxendine said.
Encouraged to present her findings on the sources of donations and gifts to nonprofits during the recession, Hamline senior Emily Hoover hopes that the conference will help her prepare for life after college.
“Presentations are standard in the business and finance world,” Hoover said. “You need to be able to clearly communicate your findings. This gives me an opportunity to present my research to a wide-variety of audiences and get feedback for future presentations in my career.”
As practice for other conferences and her honors defense, Hamline senior Hedi Fahning attended to present her findings on Somali refugee experiences with adult education.
“I have been refining and improving my research for a year now,” Fahning said. “It helped me to work through considerable challenges in the research process and overall made me a stronger critical thinker, writer, and global citizen.”
After NCUR, Fahning traveled to the Midwest Political Science Association's conference in Chicago to present her work.
“Our program at Hamline is unique in many ways,” Oxendine said. “It’s unique in how many students we're able to fund, how engaged faculty are in the program, and in the support for developing collaborative projects. For instance, our Summer Collaborative Research Program and Seminar provides structure and support for student's projects, many of which end up being NCUR presentations.”
Fahning's project is one such example, having grown out of her work in the program. Hoover was doing research related to her job as a nonprofit programs and research assistant, and was encouraged to present her work, as well. For several years, Hamline has sent one of the largest student groups to this enriching, rewarding event.
Find out more about NCUR and undergraduate research at Hamline by watching the video below or going to Hamline's YouTube channel.