UW-Platteville students join undergrad researchers from across the country at annual conference

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Undergraduate researchers from around the country, including 18 students from UW-Platteville, converged on Eau Claire, Wisconsin, earlier this month for the National Conference on Undergraduate Research. The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire hosted the annual event, which brought 3,500 students and faculty from 45 states and six foreign countries together to showcase research and creative activities ranging from art and music to psychology, chemistry and cybersecurity.

“This has been so exciting to attend and be a part of the undergraduate research community,” said Jacob Plumley. “There’s just so much going on.” 

Plumley, who presented on a “Comparison of Calcium Phosphate and Liposome-based Transfection Efficacy in CHO-K1 Cells” is hoping to attend graduate school after he graduates in May.

Undergraduate research is a well-recognized high impact practice that develops many transferable skills that are critical for future success, including problem solving, communication, teamwork and persistence.

“My research experience at UW-Platteville has given me the opportunity to address real-world problems in a way that goes beyond what we get in class,” said Riley Basaran, who presented “Cybersecurity in a Microgrid Environment” along with Parker Stork.

UW-Platteville students were joined at the event by faculty members Dr. Kameko Halfmann, assistant professor of psychology; Dr. Mark Levenstein, associate professor of biology; and Dr. Ben Krings, assistant professor of health and human performance; as well as Office of Research and Sponsored Programs Director Will Hoyer.

“It’s been exciting to see students engaging with other student researchers from across the country and pushing themselves to get out of their comfort zone and learning what research, creative and scholarly work looks like in different disciplines,” said Halfmann.

UW-Platteville students all presented research posters at the event and also took in oral presentations, art exhibits, dance performances, keynote talks and plenty of fun social events during the three-day conference. Travel and registration for the students was paid for by the UW-Platteville Student Research and Engagement Fund, with additional support coming from the University of Wisconsin System.

Over 60 UW-Platteville student research projects will be presented at the April 26 Pioneer Creative Activities and Research Day (PCARD). 

“PCARD is a great chance for the entire campus community to come see all the exciting things our students are doing,” said Hoyer. “I love learning about new things I’ve never thought about and hearing the enthusiasm the students have for the work. Research is such a valuable experience for students to have.”

Students who attended NCUR included: Mollie Johnson, Jacob Plumley, Riley Basaran, Parker Stork, Caleb Thornton, Hanna Skubal, Trevor Wilkinson, Evan Steeno, Erin Trocke, Marc Aruguete, Garrett Sprouse, Jayden Trocke, Kelli Schneider, Maddie Gehl, Madison Rouse, Sarah Manary, Jacob Smitsdorff and DJ Stender.