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Research celebration to feature more than 380 student projects

April 24, 2013
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Above, students presented their research and other scholarly and creative projects during UW-Eau Claire's 2012 Student Research Day. The 2013 event, renamed the Celebration of Excellence in Research and Creative Activity, will be held May 1-2 in Davies Center.

EAU CLAIRE — University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire students will display their faculty-mentored student research and other scholarly and creative projects at the annual student research event, marking its 21st year under a new name: the Celebration of Excellence in Research and Creative Activity (CERCA).

More than 500 students and 150 faculty mentors will share their collaborative projects via performances, oral presentations and exhibits/posters from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. May 1 and 2 in the W.R. Davies Student Center. (View the event abstract book and schedule online.) CERCA will bring several events under one umbrella, including English Fest, the History Graduate Student Association Symposium, Women's Studies Research Awards and capstone project presentations, and the Provost's Honors Symposium.

"Mentored research is a high-impact practice that helps students prepare to continue their education or join the workforce," said Dr. Karen Havholm, director of UW-Eau Claire's Center of Excellence for Faculty and Undergraduate Student Research Collaboration.

In a recent survey by the UW-Eau Claire Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, 100 percent of alumni who participated in ORSP-sponsored research and creative activity said they would recommend undergraduate research to current students. Alumni view their research participation as "life-changing" and "an amazing experience that opened so many doors." The dedicated faculty at UW-Eau Claire play a critical role in making this advantage available to more than 800 students each year, Havholm said.

Many CERCA posters and presentations will focus on health care or health-related issues.

"Given our quality programs in nursing and other health-related and life sciences fields, UW-Eau Claire is actively developing talent, stimulating growth and contributing to job creation for this sector of our economy," said Dr. Gilles Bousquet, UW-Eau Claire's interim chancellor.

The recent Be Bold 2 report from Competitive Wisconsin Inc. identified nursing and health-related professional skills as being a high need in Wisconsin.

Examples of health-related poster and oral presentations at CERCA will include:


  • "Local Prevalence of Ticks Carrying the Lyme Disease Bacterium," poster presentation by Alyssa Kruger, Oakdale, Minn., and Madeleine Hacker, Brown Deer, with biology faculty mentor Dr. Lloyd Turtinen.
  • "An Examination of the Impact of Outside Payment Sources on Elderly Residents and Health Care Providers in Long Term Care Facilities," oral presentation by Danielle Hochhalter, Minnetonka, Minn., with social work faculty mentor Dr. Leah Olson-McBride.
  • "A Look to the Future of Nursing from the Perspective of the Past: A Qualitative Study of Retired Nurses on the IOM Future of Nursing," poster presentation by Naomi Vogt, Wauwatosa, with nursing faculty mentor Dr. Lisa Schiller.
  • "Wrapping Drugs in Butter: Developing New Oral Delivery Systems for Amphotericin B," poster presentation by Shane Hodgson, Eau Claire, Joseph Heimann, Chippewa Falls, and Hilary Wiltgen, Merrill, with chemistry faculty mentor Dr. Scott Hartsel.
  • "Collaborating with Local Women Who Are at Risk for Hepatitis C: A Forward Step to Meeting a Need in the Chippewa Valley," oral presentation by Gretchen Bachmeier, Eau Claire, Amanda Geist, Eau Claire, Brittany Wiest, Verona, and Devon Lehr, Appleton, with English and women's studies faculty mentor Dr. Theresa Kemp.
  • "Body Image of Opera Singers," poster presentation by Abigail Doering, Altoona, with music and theatre arts faculty mentor Dr. Mitra Sadeghpour.
  • "Social Networking with Aphasia," oral presentation by Heather Buhr, Denmark, and Hannah Miller, Sobieski, with communication sciences and disorders faculty mentor Dr. Jerry Hoepner.
  • "Effects of High Intensity Interval Training versus Moderate Continuous Aerobic Exercise on Sedentary College Students," poster presentation by Brittany Weiler, Eau Claire, Kathryn Lyman, Beloit, Olivia Augustin, New Ulm, Minn., and Lyddia Petrofsky, Mukwonago, with kinesiology faculty mentor Dr. Don Bredle.

Many projects to be presented at CERCA were funded by the Blugold Commitment, which is student-supported differential tuition invested in programs that add value to the Blugold degree, such as collaborative undergraduate research and experiential learning.

CERCA is sponsored by the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs. For more information, visit the ORSP website and follow the CERCA link, email orsp@uwec.edu or call 715-836-3405.

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