LAUNCH Hosts First Undergraduate Research Scholars Symposium

Hannah Guyton presents at LAUNCH: Undergraduate Research first-ever Undergraduate Research Scholars Symposium

Hannah Guyton, a senior communication major, is conducting her thesis under the mentorship of Dr. Charles Conrad. She is researching the impact of organizational communication in regard to NASA’s shuttle program.

By Texas A&M University Academic Affairs Undergraduate Studies

LAUNCH: Undergraduate Research held its first-ever Undergraduate Research Scholars Symposium in the Memorial Student Center on the campus of Texas A&M University on Feb. 28.

The symposium featured both poster and oral presentations in a variety of disciplines by undergraduate researchers who participate in the LAUNCH Undergraduate Research Scholars (URS) thesis program. The program provides undergraduates with a graduate student experience by allowing them to participate in research, produce a professional document and communicate their findings as principal authors to the university’s scholarly community.

Chris Apgar presents at LAUNCH: Undergraduate Research first-ever Undergraduate Research Scholars Symposium

Chris Apgar, a University of Texas at Austin student involved through AURAT, is researching the chronic effects of traumatic brain injury. The project involves UT, the Texas A&M Health Science Center, the Texas A&M Medical School, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and Scott and White Healthcare.

The symposium also served as the first of many events to come for LAUNCH’s new Academy of Undergraduate Researchers Across Texas, a community of elite student researchers from the state’s two flagship universities, Texas A&M and the University of Texas at Austin. The academy aims to strengthen the visibility of undergraduate research in Texas by providing these exceptional students with networking opportunities, the chance to hone their professional skills, and a venue to discuss the importance of undergraduate research and the impact it has on their lives.

By the Numbers

  • 114 students from Texas A&M University presented their undergraduate research projects representing almost all colleges on campus through the URS thesis program
  • 6 Texas A&M student members of the new Academy of Undergraduate Researchers Across Texas presented research posters
  • 5 University of Texas at Austin student members of the new Academy of Undergraduate Researchers Across Texas presented research posters
  • 56 students presented in oral format
  • 64 students presented in poster format
  • 2 students from the Texas A&M Qatar Campus presented
  • 1 student from the Texas A&M Galveston Campus presented
  • 9 teams delivered presentations
  • 91 faculty advisers involved in the mentorship of the URS students presented at the symposium
  • 116 students from LAUNCH: Learning Communities attended oral and poster sessions as audience members
  • More than 300 students from LAUNCH: Honors attended oral and poster sessions as audience members
  • 7 Aggie Research Program doctoral students and postdocs volunteered as moderators for panels
  • 2 English graduate students volunteered as moderators for panels
  • 41 faculty members and postdocs volunteered as active listeners for oral and poster presentations by undergraduate students
  • 22 members from the LAUNCH office and the LAUNCH Undergraduate Research Ambassadors program volunteered to help run the event
A&M and UT students present at LAUNCH: Undergraduate Research's first-ever Undergraduate Research Scholars Symposium

Undergraduate students from Texas A&M University and the University of Texas at Austin who compose the inaugural class of the Academy of Undergraduate Researchers Across Texas presented their research at the first-ever Undergraduate Research Scholars Symposium hosted by LAUNCH: Undergraduate Research at Texas A&M.

LAUNCH URS Symposium fulfills the URS thesis program requirement for students to do a public presentation and offers them a chance to receive constructive feedback on their research projects and presentation skills. Faculty, staff, post-docs and graduate students attend both oral and poster presentations as active listeners and provide feedback on research projects and presentation skills.

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Media contact: Dr. Sarah M. Misemer at 979-458-0039 or ugr@tamu.edu; or Elena Watts at 979-458-8412 or elenaw@tamu.edu


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