Presentations on the best of UGA undergraduate research are underway at the annual CURO Symposium, held this year on April 9-10 at the Classic Center in downtown Athens:
Hosted by CURO, the Center for Undergraduate Research Opportunities, this year’s symposium is the largest to date, with more than 575 participants. These undergraduates are pursuing 103 different majors from 14 UGA schools and colleges. Collectively, they are conducting research with 330 faculty members from 78 departments.
At the two-day event, students will present at oral and poster sessions on topics as varied as the estimation of the total carbon sequestered in UGA trees, prevention of acetaminophen toxicity, Twitter poetry’s artificial interiors, policy diffusion and misdemeanor probation in Georgia, and assessment of a diabetes foot care intervention program in Fiji.
Nivita Sharma, a senior CURO Honors Scholar who is majoring in biology, has been actively involved in research during all four years of her studies at UGA. With the support of the Honors Program, she spent several weeks in Fiji last summer as she examined the effects of a diabetes foot care intervention program. She will present on her assessment at the symposium—along with research evaluating mitochondrial capacity and muscle endurance in individuals with Parkinson’s disease.
“From working with beakers of chemicals in the chemistry department to working with patients in the Fiji Islands and through the kinesiology department, I have learned to love the creation of new knowledge and want to carry on this deeply rooted passion into my future profession as a physician scientist,” she said. “The opportunity to identify, examine and resolve health care challenges in Fiji has taught me professional and personal skills that are unparalleled by any other college experiences.”
A UGA bus marked “Special” is providing transportation to the Classic Center, with stops at the Georgia Center for Continuing Education, Tate Student Center and the Arch.
CURO supports undergraduates by providing information and opportunities to pursue research, complete coursework, apply for funding, and present their research in other settings. Students can compete for $3,000 summer fellowships, as well as CURO Research Assistantships, which provide $1,000 stipends to 500 undergraduates each year. A real jewel of undergraduate research and training, CURO incentivizes exploration and experiences that can change lives, as students find their path and follow their passion.
Image: Fourth-year biology major Nivita Sharma conducts research with Rachel Aldridge, a senior majoring in exercise and sport science, in Kevin McCully's Non-Invasive Exercise Muscle Physiology Lab in the Ramsey Center. (Photo by Stephanie Schupska)