Research symposium expands to include three schools, colleges
|Chemistry professor Robert Stanley (left) helps David Yearsley prepare his slides for the Temple Undergraduate Research Forum and Creative Arts Symposium. Yearsley, a junior biochemistry major in the Honors program, worked with Stanley during the past year to research a protein that fixes DNA damaged by UV rays.
Fifty-five undergraduate students across three schools and colleges will gather Thursday, April 14, to present their research at the 12th annual Temple Undergraduate Research Forum and Creative Arts Symposium (TURF-CAS).
For the first time, TURF-CAS will feature student creative works, a reflection of a growing commitment to undergraduate research and scholarship across the University. The conference includes student participants from the College of Liberal Arts, the School of Communications and Theater, the College of Science and Technology and the University Honors program.
TURF-CAS, designed to replicate what students would encounter at a professional academic conference, allows students to present their research and creative works before an audience of their peers, as well as faculty and administrators. The agenda includes poster sessions, papers, photography, Web design, films and live theatrical performances.
“[African-American studies professor] Sonja Peterson-Lewis was and continues to be the impetus, inspiration and creative energy behind the forum,” Honors Director Ruth Ost said.
“This expansion will give students an idea about the breadth, scope and depth of research being done by Temple undergraduates.”
The forum grew this year thanks to additional funding from the Provost’s Office.
“It’s clear that Temple is a place for undergraduates to do research, and TURF-CAS will show off this piece of the University,” Vice Provost for Undergraduate Studies Peter Jones said. “This forum is a great opportunity for undergraduates unfamiliar with research to see what it entails.”
Jones said TURF-CAS attendance is the first step in the academic growth of an undergraduate. David Yearsley, a junior biochemistry major in the Honors program, agrees. During the past year, Yearsley has researched a protein that fixes DNA damaged by UV rays.
“The good thing about the forum is that it will actually bring together other undergraduates who are curious about research but don’t know where to start,” Yearsely said. “I remember thinking as a freshman that research was far out, something that was too complicated for me to try. TURF-CAS shows students that doing research is a possibility.”
The University has introduced a variety of ways to support undergraduate research. In January, the Provost’s Office announced the Undergraduate Research Incentive Fund (URIF), an annual allotment of $20,000 that will be used to subsidize deserving undergraduate projects. Temple Libraries and the Provost’s Office sponsor up to three $1,000 prizes for undergraduate research. The Diamond Scholars program, which debuted this academic year, matches a cadre of promising undergraduate researchers with faculty mentors.
“Undergraduate research is a major theme at Temple, and we’re happy to present these ways to help students pursue it,” Jones said. “We want incoming and current students with high research aspirations to know that Temple is the place for them.”
Jones hopes other students who learn the nature of research are motivated to continue their studies beyond Temple.
“All these initiatives are coming together as a way to lay a research foundation for students,” Jones said. “We want students to set their research agendas now, as undergraduates. TURF-CAS is the start of that.”
- By Ted Boscia
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If you go
|The Temple Undergraduate Research Forum and Creative Arts Symposium will showcase student work throughout the day, Thursday, April 14.
Opening plenary: 8:30-8:50 a.m. in Shusterman Hall
Sessions: 9–11:30 a.m., 1:10–4 p.m.
• College of Liberal Arts: Mitten Hall, the Diamond Club’s President’s Room
• College of Science and Technology: Mitten Hall, Alumni Hall (Berks Mall entrance)
• School of Communications and Theater: Shusterman Hall
Presentations and closing reception: 4:15–5 p.m. in Shusterman Hall