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‘Fantastic’ Rochester undergraduate research highlighted at annual expo

April 22, 2022
Three undergraduate students in masks near a research poster presentation and demo.More than 100 students presented their projects at a speakers symposium and poster session during the day-long event in the Feldman Ballroom. (University of Rochester / J. Adam Fenster)

Projects by more than 100 students are ‘important steps in the pursuit of knowledge.’

Student research involving a protein coding gene, life in an Upstate New York prison town, a device to diagnose sepsis from sweat, and the impact of exclusionary zoning in Monroe County were the top award winners at the annual University of Rochester Undergraduate Research Exposition.

Missed the action?

See the full list of President’s Award, Deans’ Award, and Professors’ Choice student award winners.

View the students’ posters from the expo.

More than 100 students presented their projects at a speakers symposium and a poster session during the day-long event, which culminated in an awards ceremony in Feldman Ballroom.

“The presentations were just fantastic, both the posters and the talks,” Sina Ghaemmaghami, director of the College Office of Undergraduate Research and associate professor of biology, told students and faculty members who gathered for the ceremony. “You students made it very difficult for the judges to choose the winners.”

University President Sarah Mangelsdorf also commended the students. “Research is the bedrock of knowledge creation, and these research projects are important steps in the pursuit of knowledge,” she said. “A quality undergraduate research experience is really unparalleled in its ability to help our students understand how we create knowledge and how we question and test assumptions. You truly develop critical thinking skills when you do research.” Those skills will serve students well, even if they do not pursue careers in research, she added.

Honoring professors

In addition, Undergraduate Professor of the Year Awards were presented by Falisha Hola, the Students’ Association academic affairs committee chair, and deputy chair Miraz Sadi, to:

Benjamin Hafensteiner, faculty lecturer in the Department of Chemistry, for providing “a reassuring classroom environment that allows for connections and better understanding of the material taught.”

Laura Slane, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, for creating “a welcoming environment,” providing students the tools of success, and showing the importance of building relationships with students.

Kathryn Mariner, associate professor of anthropology, for understanding “the complexity of various social issues and power dynamics that exist in multiple environments at the University” and creating a “warm and caring environment that allows for students to feel safe and to feel heard.”

Joshua Dubler, associate professor of religion and director of the Rochester Education Justice Initiative, for fostering conversations and encouraging students to be engaged advocates within communities and allowing students to understand a variety of perspectives to build on their own understanding of topics taught in class.

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Category: Student Life