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Students present research

Alessandra Delrose

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According the conference website, the mission of the NCUR is “to promote undergraduate research scholarship and creative activity done in partnership with faculty or other mentors as a vital component of higher education.” People in attendance for this conference include students from universities across the country and around 
the world.

Five of the six students representing the University are members of the Emerging Scholars Program, a program that helps a select group of incoming UA freshmen get involved in research on campus early in their 
college career.

Mary Katherine Alsip Shreves, recent director of the Emerging Scholars program, will attend the conference with these students, and said she has no doubt that all of the students are prepared to present their research at NCUR.

“NCUR is a competitive conference and not all submissions are accepted, so it is a demonstration of our students’ excellence in research that six students were invited to present at NCUR,” 
Shreves said.

Shreves said the Emerging Scholars students received excellent support and guidance from their faculty mentors and has prepared them for presenting 
their research.

With the conference coming up on April 16, Shreves said she is excited to see the UA students shine.

“I am looking forward to spending time with students who have been actively engaged in the program and in research since their freshman year,” she said. “I enjoy seeing all of the research our students are involved in and I am looking forward to seeing all of our 
students present at the conference.”

Taylor Sheeran, a sophomore 
majoring in English and communication studies and a member of the Emerging Scholars program, is one of the six students presenting at this year’s NCUR conference. She will be doing a presentation on “Oral Histories: Research through Storytelling.”

“Half of my presentation comes from my work with Dr. Amy Dayton in the English department,” Sheeran said. “I was paired with Dr. Dayton through the Emerging Scholars program and assisted her with a project she was working on called ‘Digital Literacies in Rural Women’s Lives.’ The other half of my presentation comes from my experiences in Art to Life, an Honors College seminar taught by Dr. Daniel Potts. I combined these projects for my presentation and will speak about the oral history research method as a whole and what it means for the future of research.”

Sheeran has been working on this research since last spring and said the overall research process has been a wonderful learning experience.

“I didn’t think I would like doing research as an English major, but working with oral histories has made the process really exciting and personal,” she said. “My research experience has helped me network on the UA campus and open innumerable doors to me and I have become more confident now in my research abilities.”

Erin Hein, a junior majoring in chemistry and art history, will also present. Hein’s research is on the function of frataxin in iron sulfur 
cluster biosynthesis.

Hein said her overall experience was fufilling yet difficult.

“My mentor for this research was Dr. Laura S. Busenlehner who unfortunately passed away last November,” Hein said. “She really pressed women in science and motivated me throughout 
my research.”

Hein said she is looking forward to the conference and the ability to see not only students from across the world’s research but University of Alabama students 
as well.

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Students present research