Students selected to present research at national conference in Georgia

Students selected to present research at national conference in Georgia

Seven University of North Alabama undergraduate students will present academic research at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research at Kennesaw State University April 11 and 12.

Among the students representing UNA are Mackenzie Cottles, Trey Gililand, Chandler Mordecai, Jennifer Olszyna, Jada Sheehy and Dylan McKelvey from the College of Arts and Sciences and Taylor Moore from the College of Business.

These students were selected to present their research from more than 4,000 entries from undergraduates across the country.

Students submitted a 500-word abstract summarizing their work and the Council of Undergraduate Research selected presenters from the submissions.

Director of the Center for Student Research Dr. Andrea Hunt said in a press release the selected students were some of the best the university has to offer.

“Our students will be presenting their work in front of a national audience and this is an important opportunity to highlight the excellent undergraduate research being conducted on campus,” Hunt said. “I’m pleased the university is funding their travel so our students can have these experiences and network with other scholars.”

The Center for Student Research offers students access to resources and services necessary to produce and present quality research at both the undergraduate and graduate level, according to

Mordecai is researching the Lolita Effect, which is the hyper sexualization of girls and women.

“I was encouraged by my communications professors to submit my research to NUCR 2019 and was completely surprised and excited when my abstract was accepted,” Mordecai said. “The communications department has been extremely supportive of my research and my representation at NCUR. I am thankful for a university that provides students with opportunities for higher education and academic advancement.”

UNA alumna Viktoria Piepke said the research she did during her time at the university was an eye-opening experience.

“I did my research on communications so there really wasn’t that much research that I could look at and be inspired by,” Piepke said. “It’s hard work, but it’s also rewarding to be able to represent my university in an environment where I can see what brilliant ideas my peers came up with.”

NCUR describes itself as the world’s largest symposium for undergraduate research, featuring presentations from all academic fields and disciplines.

Council on Undergraduate Research Officer Elizabeth Ambos said CUR is strongly committed to all forms and topics of undergraduate research in a press release.

“CUR’s programs, including its signature student research conference, the National Conference on Undergraduate Research, serve as ‘home’ for all champions and practitioners of undergraduate research, scholarship and creative inquiry,” Ambos said.

Both CUR and Kennesaw State University have made public pledges that the 2019 conference will provide a welcoming, safe and inclusive environment for all students and other participants.