Photo of Daniela Leon Vargas conducting research on marine microplastics.

Daniela Leon Vargas conducted research on marine microplastics.

April was Undergraduate Research Month and with Undergraduate Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity as one of its pillars of learning, the University of Wisconsin-Superior had much to celebrate.

Most undergraduate research events and activities have been virtual this year due to COVID-19, but according to Julie O’Leary, program administrator for the UWS Center for Undergraduate Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity, students have persevered and adapted.

“Our students had to adapt many aspects of their research over the past year in response to the pandemic. They pivoted remarkably well on all fronts, including presenting at virtual events, which has allowed mentors, family and friends who would not otherwise be able to attend to participate,” said O’Leary. “Students have learned some new skills in making videos and presenting in a virtual environment, which will undoubtedly benefit them in the future.”

UW-Superior students participated in the following undergraduate research events in April:

  • National Conference on Undergraduate Research Activity (April 12-14) UW-Superior had ten students eligible to participate this year, one of the largest participant groups ever. Students presenting at this event were Jon Bartczak, Amber Heidenreich, Shalese Snowdon, Karsyn Doughty, Jessica Smith, Tyler Broderius, and Daniela Leon Vargas. Their research topics included a wide range issues, including drug treatment courts, tribal jurisdiction over crimes against Native women, reading achievement in urban vs. rural schools, and pollution from hydrocarbon spills and microplastics in the region.
  • Twin Ports Undergraduate Psychology Conference (April 19) Madison Borhren presented original research titled, “Personality and Attitudes About Environmental Sustainability. View an abstract and poster from her presentation.
  • UW System Symposium for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity (April 28) Eight UW-Superior students presented work at Wisconsin’s statewide showcase for undergraduate student work.

UW-Superior’s chapter of Alpha Phi Sigma, the National Criminal Justice Honors Society, partnered with the Gender Equity Resource Center for a special virtual presentation on April 19 as part of Sexual Assault Awareness Month. UWS McNair Scholar and Newman Civic Fellow, Jessica Smith, presented her research on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Peoples and shared her personal experience as a human trafficking survivor.