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Conference Reflections

National Conferences on Undergraduate Resarch (NCUR)

2017 Conference: Memphis, Tennessee

NCUR was established in 1987 and promotes undergraduate research, scholarship, and creative activity in all fields of study by sponsoring an annual conference for students.

Twenty MRC students presented their research at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) at the University of Memphis in April 2017. This conference is the largest symposium in the country, bringing together 2000 undergraduate students from all fields and disciplines. MRC students attended presentations on research both in and outside of their fields from around the nation.

Attendance at NCUR was made possible by the support of the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program and the MRC. 

Student Reflections

Andrew Jaeger

"It was great talking to people who were actually interested in my research, and they asked very good questions.  I had about 30 people come up to me throughout the hour, and I thought I answered their questions thoroughly.  I was surprised because I thought people would ask me difficult questions, but overall I seemed to know my stuff through and through.  One professor approached me and told me I did an excellent job presenting and that he does similar researchwithin the realm of schizophrenic research.  He also has noticed metabolic syndromes with people with schizophrenia and how he wants this problem to be fixed.  

For future NCUR participants, I would recommend attending as many poster/oral sessions inside your field as well outside... Prepare, prepare, prepare for your research presentation because you want to look professional and show the best side of you.  

Overall, I gained valuable knowledge from other presentations and expanded my horizons by talking with people outside my field. I also had fun doing it! I’m extremely glad I went to NCUR.  Thank you UROP
and MRC for your help."

Noemi Garg

"Attending the National Conference on Undergraduate Research was an incredible experience. I had the opportunity to learn about the research happening across many disciplines in the entire country.  I learned about the effects of self-esteem on individuals of African descent versus the rest of the population. I also learned about the effects of game visuals on enhanced human emotions.Among other talks topics such as aromatherapy, postmenopausal women, breast cancer, carbon andnitrogen cycles, politics, and folate in schizophrenia were explored. Each individual presenting had greatknowledge about their respective topic and had confidence that boosted my confidence as well.

The conference also hosted plenary speakers that were unique, interesting, and knowledgeable. Fredrick W. Smith, the CEO of FedEx and Dr. Santosh Kumar’s presentations were phenomenal. Each of them is a leader in his respective field. Mr.Smith made FedEx one of the leaders in courier delivery services. Dr. Kumar’s research has helped many people with innovative technology such as Fitbit. 

I would like to tell future NCUR students to socialize as much as they can. They should visit other oral presentations and support their friends, too. Most importantly, future NCUR students should explore the city that hosts this program because there is something new to learn everywhere. I'm thankful for this opportunity to explore Memphis and make new friends."






Kent Lui

"At NCUR, I learned a lot about different kinds of research, gained stronger presentation skills, and explored the exciting downtown Memphis with members of MRC.

One very prevalent thing I learned from presenting at my session was how to present without using notecards. As an individual who has some trouble with public speaking, I’m used to relying on notecards. At NCUR, presenting my poster not just in front of an individual or two but groups at the same time significantly improved my presentation skills and confidence. This proved very helpful during the MRC Spring Research Symposium when I presented again, but this time with significantly more confidence.

Another thing I gained was a stronger ability to think on my feet. Despite being prepared for some questions about my poster, I couldn’t anticipate all possible questions. However, just given the opportunity to answer questions about my research topic from various angles has made me more confident in my ability to think on my feet in the future.

To future NCUR participants, I recommend exploring everything that you can. I was focused on the academic side of NCUR, but I also did things like exploring Beale Street, visiting the giant pyramid, and visiting the Hard Rock Cafe. As a result, I feel that I got a full experience from visiting Memphis and being part of NCUR 2017."