Forget California, Cancun or Costa Rica. For about 30 students at UNK, the spring break season means a trip to New York for the 25th annual National Conference on Undergraduate Research. From March 31 to April 2, students will present research projects in a variety of studies at Ithaca College in Ithaca, N.Y.
Students were selected for national conference based on current or previous research projects they have done in their major. Applications and abstracts outlining each students project were submitted in December. The office of undergraduate research then selected participants for this year’s conference.
Senior computer science major Paden Hogeland is among those making the trip to New York. “Basically, my project deals with grouping computers to work simultaneously,” he said. “It actually started out as part of a larger project I was working on with a group, and I just adapted it to more of an individual project.”
The Kearney native said he has spent countless hours on his research so far. “I’m not sure how much time I’ve put into it, but it’s been a lot.”
He also said he is excited to present his work in New York. “I got to go to the National Conference on Undergraduate Research the year before last. That year, we went to Wisconsin and it was a great experience, so I’m ready to see what it will be like in New York.”
Denise Radford, a junior political science major from Axtell is also excited, but she said her nerves are kicking in. “I’m a little nervous about presenting my project just because there are going to be students from all over the U.S. It will be interesting to see all the different topics, though,” she said.
Radford’s project focuses on effects of immigration for children in the U.S. “I’ve never presented my own research before so I don’t really know what to expect, but I’m passionate about my topic so I would say I’m more excited than nervous,” she said.
Since 1987, the National Conference on Undergraduate Research has sponsored an event each year at campuses all across the nation to promote student research across the curriculum at the undergraduate level. This year, more than 2,500 students will present their work through oral or visual presentations.
According to Hogeland, being part of the conference is a win-win. “It looks great on a resume, you get to meet new people and you get to travel. It doesn’t get better than that,” he said.