Students, faculty and staff from all three University of Wisconsin-Platteville campuses filled the state capitol on Wednesday for the 17th annual Research in the Rotunda. Eight research teams represented the university and presented their findings with legislators, state leaders, alumni and the public. More than 100 undergraduate researchers from across the UW System participated in the event.
“It’s our opportunity to demonstrate to the legislature, people who represent us and support us, the high-quality education that is happening across the system, but most importantly at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, which includes our branch campuses Baraboo and Richland Center,” said Chancellor Dennis J. Shields.
He expressed how proud he was of the students and their faculty mentors. “Students, it is extraordinarily important we find a way to get you excited, actively engaged in your education,” Shields continued. “With our faculty the hard work you have done, the posters you have put together, it really represents what’s the best about the experience at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville.”
As students discussed their projects, they wanted members of the legislature to understand the importance of undergraduate research. Engineering students Jonas Wagner and Logan Shefchik shared how their research topic of device analytics for disaster response applications could become a life-saving tool.
“I hope they [lawmakers] learn how technology can be used to apply to disaster responses, and how we can improve the response and safety of our responders by investing in these projects,” said Wagner a senior double-majoring in engineering physics and electrical engineering from Oshkosh, Wisconsin.
“Some people are afraid of technology, but it’s out there to improve things and help people,” said Shefchik a senior majoring in electrical engineering from Luxemburg, Wisconsin. “This project could save someone’s life one day. Even though it’s small right now and we are just starting, it’s a big thing which could lead to something bigger.”
UW-Platteville Baraboo Sauk County students Emily Forbush and Brooke Martin who are both from Baraboo, Wisconsin, focused their research on aiding prairie restoration efforts.
“It’s important for the conservation of prairies in our state, but eventually some of this information we have could go nationwide,” said Martin, who is planning on becoming a medical lab technician. “It’s very important for the conservation of the prairies in the state right now and the animals in the prairies.”
“It’s important to measure the diversity because it will allow us to expand the different areas we can conserve,” added Forbush, who is planning on majoring in biology.
International student Ha Nguyen said it’s an honor to represent UW-Platteville Richland Center. Her research explained the catch-up effect in the Vietnam economy. She acknowledged the benefits of seeing all the different research topics.
“I can learn a lot and expand from them, especially from the students who are older and have more experience than me,” she said. “It’s nice to present my work to different people. I can receive constructive comments and other opinions on my research.”
Throughout the day, students highlighted how important it is to share their research objectives. “It’s really cool to represent what’s going on at UW-Platteville in undergraduate research,” said Kayla Golden, a senior majoring in electrical engineering from Greendale, Wisconsin. Her research concentrated on nanoscale vacuum-channel field emission transistor.
“It’s really valuable for undergraduates to be able to have these experiences to really exercise their critical thinking skills outside of the classroom and to be independent thinkers,” she said.
UW-Platteville students met with lawmakers representing their hometowns as well as additional elected officials and their offices.
For more information about the student presenters and their research project, visit the individual links below.
UW-Platteville Research Projects:
- Learning biochemistry the write way: applying writing-to-learn in STEM
- Device analytics for disaster response applications
- Prairie plant genetic diversity on campus remnants
- The catch-up effect in the Vietnam economy
- Yoga improves body composition and balance in sedentary adults
- Nanoscale vacuum-channel field emission transistor
- Thermal ecology of ophidiomyces ophiodiicola, the cause of snake fungal disease, in free-ranging snakes in Wisconsin
- The relationship between dopamine and utilitarian moral judgment