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NIU Today | NIU students shine at Conference on Undergraduate Research and Engagement

Symposium visitors included NIU President Dr. Lisa C. Freeman.

One of the hallmarks of an NIU education is hands-on learning, and the benefits couldn’t have been more apparent than during this spring’s Conference on Undergraduate Research and Engagement (CURE).

NIU’s annual undergraduate research symposium and professional development conference attracted 122 student participants and included 100 formal presentations of faculty-mentored undergraduate research, artistry and engagement projects.

The research symposium was held on April 26. Using posters exhibits, students from all colleges projects they are showcased or have completed as part of a capstone or senior project, community engagement project or course, independent study or funded research and artistry program.

Student projects highlighted their work on such topics as filmmaking, obesity, food insecurities, engineering processes, worker stress, autophagy in brain cells, use of biomarkers, literacy in personal finance and interventions for students with disabilities.

In 2021, CURE became the new name for Undergraduate Research and Artistry Day (URAD) and the Community Engagement Showcase (CES). The 2020 and 2021 events were held virtually.

“After a two-year hiatus, it felt good to be able to offer the in-person undergraduate research symposium,” said Destiny McDonald, acting director of the Office of Student Engagement and Experiential Learning.

“There’s a special energy you feel from the students and attendees that you just don’t get from a virtual setting,” she added. “We were proud to be able to expand CURE by offering free virtual professional development sessions for undergraduate students, replicating the experience that one would have if they participated in a conference within their field.”

Detailed descriptions of all student presentations are available on the CURE website. CURE award winners were announced May 5, and they are listed below with links to their projects.

Arts, Design and Performing Arts Award Posters

Biological and Chemical Sciences Award Posters

Business and Entrepreneurship Award Posters

Education Award Posters

Engineering Award Posters

Environmental and Physical Sciences Award Posters

Health and Human Services Award Posters

Humanities Award Posters

Mathematics and Computational Sciences Award Posters

Social and Behavioral Sciences Award Posters

Faculty Mentor of the Year awards

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