Eli Capilouto

Guest Entry: Looking Ahead to the 2014 National Conference on Undergraduate Research

Published: Apr 17, 2013

Earlier this semester, I welcomed the first "guest blogger" to share her experience at the 2013 Inauguration. Yesterday, Keith Hautala (UKPR) chronicled his experience with students at the 2013 National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR). Today, we take a look ahead at what UK can expect as the 2014 NCUR host.


Please enjoy.



By Keith Hautala


The UK site team for the 2013 National Conference on Undergraduate Research returned to Lexington early Sunday morning after a whirlwind three-day visit to La Crosse, Wisc. 


For the students who went, it was a terrific opportunity to present their research before a receptive audience of their peers and to get feedback from others in their fields. In addition to the poster and oral presentations, there was a gallery for fine arts presentations, and a number of performing arts sessions as well. 


The poster sessions took place around a large indoor running track, with hundreds of simultaneous presentations arranged at numbered three-sided kiosks. It was a veritable supermarket of undergraduate research, with presentations turning over every 90 minutes. Around the perimeter were tables for the Graduate and Professional Fair, which ran concurrently. UK had a table for The Graduate School, as well as a table promoting NCUR 2014, which was staffed by UK student volunteers in one-hour shifts. Both were well attended, and many visitors said they were already excited about coming to Lexington next April. 


The oral sessions were organized thematically, covering just about every discipline imaginable. These were grouped in 80-minute blocks, with four 20-minute presentations in each. The one, frequently voiced, complaint with this arrangement was that there was no time allotted to get from one session to the next, so attendees had to plan carefully and occasionally had to miss part of one session to make it to another.


I had the pleasure of attending an environmental science session, where UK senior Stratton Hatfield presented his project studying the population dynamics of the African lion. On the long bus trip back, I got to talk to Stratton a little bit about his experience. He told me that it was invaluable to get to present his work to people from different disciplines and to get a variety of different points of view. 


"I have been approaching the problem (of lion preservation) primarily from an environmental sciences perspective," he said, "But the more I talk to people, the more I realize that economics is also a critical part of the equation. So that has been very useful to me, as I think about my future." 


And that seemed to be the story we heard over and over again from students who participated. "I never thought about it this way," or "I discovered for the first time," were frequently heard refrains on the way back home. Conferences like NCUR give students a chance to exchange ideas with people from different places, and different disciplines, and it gives them an opportunity to view their own work in a new and different light. For young researchers at the beginning of their careers, it can be an invaluable experience. 


For the staff who attended, we got a crash course in what to expect when UK hosts the conference next spring. The sheer logistics of hosting a conference with over 3,000 attendees -- housing, feeding, and transporting all of those people, scheduling the hundreds of sessions, arranging excursions and social activities -- will be a big job, even in a larger city like Lexington. 


Fortunately, we have a full year to do it. We've also got a great campus, a beautiful city, and a wonderful team of faculty and staff to help us pull it off. We'll need to start recruiting and training student volunteers early, because there will be plenty of work to go around. But it's an exciting project, and it's the kind of thing that can really galvanize our campus. It will also give us a great opportunity to show young scholars from around the country the very best of UK, so they'll leave here "seeing blue."

Internship Info Session
LNFS Presents: Dallas Buyers Club
College of Law Welcomes Trevor Potter
Dancing at Lughnasa
LNFS Presents: Notes on Marie Menken
LNFS Presents: Edge of Tomorrow
UK Jazz Ensemble/ UK Lab Band
Earth & Environmental Science Student Open House
"Nerd Night" Exhibit and Concert
"Anne Braden: Southern Patriot" Film Screening and Discussion
Dancing at Lughnasa
LNFS Presents: My Neighbor Totoro
LNFS Presents: (500) Days of Summer
Men's Soccer vs. Old Dominion
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Alabama
Dancing at Lughnasa
Kentucky Football vs. South Carolina
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
Rock Climbing @ Red River Gorge
Cross Cultural Workshop 2014
Swing Dancing!
Dancing at Lughnasa
Cross Cultural Workshop 2014
UK Children's Hospital/Birthing Center Annual Perinatal Loss "Walk To Remember"
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Texas A&M
Dancing at Lughnasa
Murals of Baltimore
Resumes and Cover Letters
Dancing at Lughnasa
Murals of Baltimore
Networking and Job Search
UK Choristers
Rock Star Professionalism Series
Stillness in Motion: The Essence of Symmetry - presented by Dr. Carl Lee, Mathematics
Dancing at Lughnasa
Murals of Baltimore
LNFS Presents: Night of the Living Dead
UK Law Day
Dancing at Lughnasa
Murals of Baltimore
LNFS Presents: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Mark Berry, Guest Percussion Recital
National Depression Screening Day
LNFS Presents: Torch Song Trilogy
Dancing at Lughnasa
LNFS Presents: Shut Up and Play the Hits
LNFS Presents: Watchmen
KLJ Data Privacy Symposium
Family Weekend Check-in
Big Blue Pantry Food Drive #1
Kentucky Women's Soccer vs. South Carolina
Family Weekend: Derek Hughes
Dancing at Lughnasa
Kentucky Football vs. ULM
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
UK International Tent/ Tailgate Party
CT Surgery Symposium: Advances in the Surgical Management of Cardiothoracic Diseases:
Family Weekend Tent Party
Dancing at Lughnasa
DNT 101: A Taste of the Kentucky Doughnut Trail
Big Blue Pantry Food Drive #2
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Auburn
Sunday Lunch at Historic Spindletop Hall
Men's Soccer vs. Marshall
Job Club - Social Media and Your Career
Massage on the Go
LNFS Presents: The Last Samurai
UK Symphony Band Concert
Women's Forum Conference 2014
#TrendingTopics: Pornography vs. Morality
Career Assessment Workshop
LNFS Presents: The Tree of Life
LNFS Presents: Guardians of the Galaxy
UK Wind Symphony
LNFS Presents: Princess Mononoke
LNFS Presents: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Kentucky Women's Soccer vs. Ole Miss
Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet
Paint the Town Blue
Free Kaplan Entrance Practice Exams
4th Annual Big Blue Soccer Tournament
Men's Soccer vs. New Mexico
Swing Dancing and Costumes?
Paint the Town Blue
UK Men's Chorus and acoUstiKats
Jazz Spectacular
UK Student Pajama Party
Kentucky Volleyball vs. LSU
Kentucky Women's Soccer vs. Florida
Paint the Town Blue
Midterm of 2014 Fall Semester
Returning to Work and Breastfeeding
Open Access Week Kickoff Event (Webcast)
Grad School 101
Royalty Showcase
Graduate and Professional School Prep Week: Preparing for Law School
Graduate and Professional School Prep Week: Grad School Panel: Surviving Your 1st Year
Film & Panel Discussion: Be Like Others
Graduate and Professional School Showcase
Your Publication, Your Choice: Choosing the Right Open Access Journal
Graduate and Professional School Prep Week
Graduate and Professional School Prep Week
Kitty Karnival
Study Tips for Medical School
LNFS Presents: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Thank-A-Donor Day
Campus Sustainability Day
Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Information Session
Getting Into Medical School
Writing a Winning Personal Statement
Career Assessment Workshop
LNFS Presents: Marimbas From Hell
LNFS Presents: The Fault in Our Stars
Generation Open: Researchers' Roles in the Age of Openness
Homecoming Street Fair
LNFS Presents: Kiki's Delivery Service
LNFS Presents: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
"see blue." Day at Keeneland
Peanut Butter Drive
Pumpkin Carving Tournament
Kentucky Football vs. Mississippi State
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
UK Women's Choir and Paws and Listen
Bill Cooper Faculty Recital
UK Trumpet Ensemble
Undergraduate Research Information Session "How to Find A Mentor"
Kentucky Men's Basketball Blue/White Scrimmage
Job Club - How To Get A Job at UK: Updates on IES Applicant Tracking System
Common Reading Experience Author Lecture: Presenting Ishmael Beah
Internship Info Session
LNFS Presents: The Shining
Pinterest Party
Leadership Assessment
"see boo." Halloween Party
Society for the Promotion of Undergraduate Research (SPUR) Meeting
#UKEDTALKS: Design Thinking with Dr. John Nash
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Tennessee
Career Assessment Workshop
LNFS Presents: Lucy
Film Viewing and Discussion of The Other Boleyn Girl
LNFS Presents: Papirosen
Kentucky Women's Soccer vs. Alabama
LNFS Presents: ParaNorman
LNFS Presents: Carrie
All Hallow's Eve Concert (UK Symphony Orchestra)
Work-Life Retirement Conference
Oct 22
Study Tips for Medical School 10/22/2014
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