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Event connects students, faculty, research and pizza

Pandora White

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Students and professors gathered in Gorgas Library on Monday to munch and meet. The event, called “Pizza and Professors” connected students and professors with pizza and potential research partners. 

The event started with free pizza, followed by a brief two-minute introduction from each professor about his or her research. After the introductions, there was an opportunity for students to speak directly to professors about research opportunities. 

Hosted by the Office of Undergraduate Research, the event eliminated some of the leg work that makes finding research on campus difficult for some students. 

Cynthia Payne, a senior biology major, found the event to be informative and an efficient use of time. 

“Instead of going to the different colleges and departments, searching for different professors and emailing all of them [I came here],” Payne said. “This event is much better.” 

Professors who spoke include:

  • Dr. Joshua Bittle, Assistant Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering
  • Dr. Darrin Griffin, Assistant Professor, Department of Communication Studies 
  • Dr. Jonathan Wingo, Associate Professor, Exercise Science and Department Head of Kinesiology 
  • Dr. Diana Dolliver, Assistant Professor, Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice 
  • Dr. Mary Kelley, Assistant Professor, Capstone College of Nursing 
  • Dr. Jeff Gray, Professor, Department of Computer Science 
  • Dr. Nathan Culmer, Assistant Professor, College of Community Health Sciences and Director of Academic Technologies and Faculty Development

Kelley said students have a variety of opportunities and responsibilities when working on undergraduate research.

“[They help with] recruiting, setting up projects, data analysis and data entry,” Kelley said. 

This event was put on as part of the Emerging Scholars program on campus. According to professor Anneliese Bolland:

“President Bell has set the goal to increase research numbers which means we need increased number of undergraduate researchers,” said Boland, assistant research social scientist and assistant director of Undergraduate Research.

The Emerging Scholars Program helps fulfill that goal. The two-semester program is for full-time students in their first, second or third year at the University. In the first semester, students register for UA 155 where they learn basic research skills. In the second half, students register for UA 156 where they conduct research with faculty. At the culmination of the program, students will present posters at the Spring Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity Conference. 

Applications for this program are due Nov. 1, 2017. For more information, visit emergingscholars.ua.edu. 

For more information about undergraduate research outside of the Emerging Scholars program, visit https://undergraduateresearch.ua.edu/.

For more information about potential projects, students are encouraged to email professors directly. 

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Event connects students, faculty, research and pizza