Eleven students from the University of Illinois Springfield are presenting their work this weekend at the 31st Annual National Conference on Undergraduate Research being held through Saturday at the University of Memphis in Tennessee.
Some of the students’ research is already being used to solve problems around the world.
“I think the water quality in The Gambia will improve in the next few years,” said 29-year-old UIS student Shyleen Frost of Pleasant Plains. “They hadn’t measured water quality at some sites in 10 years, so we gave them the updated data from our samplings, and they are now implementing better structures for water-quality impact, and have issued directives for a lot of programs like trash disposal.”
“It’s really great to represent the university in a national conference like this,” added Frost, and although she would like to pursue a career in virology, she chose water quality in the west African nation as her undergraduate research topic because “water quality is important and applicable to the field, since it is pretty essential to life.”
Other UIS students taking part in this week’s conference -- which drew some 4,000 from across the country -- include
Turner Clark of Swansea, Ebony Forslund, Amanda Monke and Gabriel Broughton of Springfield, Marquiera Harris, Chicago; Elizabeth Karras, Des Plaines; Alex Skarr, Naperville; Allie McIntire, Washington; and Nhan Khanh Le of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. They are accompanied by Tiffani Saunders, UIS sociology/anthropology lecturer, and Keenan Dungey, associate professor of chemistry and director of the Undergraduate Research Support Program.
“For some students, this is their first time to present outside a classroom setting,” Dungey said. “It also gives them some professional connections and opportunities to look at graduate schools and what their future careers might be.”
Several of the students in Memphis this week will also present their research on the UIS campus at the annual Student Technology Arts and Research Symposium April 20-21.
This article appeared in The State Journal-Register on April 7, 2017.
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