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8 Eastern students present at National Conference for Undergraduate Research

Published on April 06, 2022

8 Eastern students present at National Conference for Undergraduate Research

people walking, reading, writing cartoon

Eight Eastern Connecticut State University students are presenting their research virtually at the National Conference for Undergraduate Research (NCUR) from April 4-8. Hosted annually by the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR), the national event showcases undergraduate research projects, with more than 3,200 students, faculty and administrators in attendance.  

Nancy Gonzalez, a senior majoring in Health Sciences.
Nancy Gonzalez, a senior majoring in Health Sciences

Nancy Gonzalez, a senior majoring in Health Sciences, analyzed current vaccine supply chain systems through a systematic literature review. Throughout the fall 2021 semester we used a systematic literature review method to identify and review previous studies found in literature,” said Gonzalez. “A review could potentially be further used to create an optimization model for vaccine supply chain systems.”

Gonzalez found the topic of vaccine supply chains to be interesting, and her interest in the topic led her to apply to NCUR. “I was motivated to apply to this conference to share our findings with others, especially considering the recent events with the COVID-19 supply chain and the challenges experienced.”  

Speaking of her goals for the conference, Gonzalez said, “I personally hope to gain experience presenting, to receive feedback, and to use it as an opportunity to learn from other presenters.”  

Gonzalez went on to explain the multitude of benefits that come from completing and presenting research at the undergraduate level. “This research opportunity has greatly contributed to my academic career as it has allowed me to further develop my teamwork skills, will allow me to grow in my public speaking skills by presenting at conferences, and has strengthened my interest and skills in doing further academic research.”  

Nancy Gonzalez's research poster

Jessica Tebeau's research poster

Jessica Tebeau, a senior majoring in Communication.
Jessica Tebeau, a senior majoring in Communication

Jessica Tebeau, a senior majoring in Communication, is presenting on gendered microaggressions in the workforce, within the context of modern American society. Tebeau said, “I built my research and held different focus groups to collect stories from men and women (about) times they had experienced microaggressions and asked them questions about inferences they could draw from the behavior they noticed.”  

Tebeau hopes that by presenting her research, “My fellow students can begin to notice gendered microaggressions in their own future or current professional field and stop any hate and harassment in its tracks. The mental effects from gendered microaggressions in the workforce can be career-defining and incredibly harmful.”  

John Fiester, a senior majoring in Mathematics, conducted research on how "consumer sentiment written in financial news and posted on social media outlets could be paired with machine learning algorithms in order to predict stock market prices and trends.”

Fiester scoured news media sites such as Twitter to find consumer sentiment, analyzed texts and quantified the emotions displayed. “I used this data along with the daily adjusted close stock price data to train a series of six machine learning algorithms to determine if we could accurately predict next day prices and directional trends,” said Fiester.

ohn Fiester, a senior majoring in Mathematics.
John Fiester, a senior majoring in Mathematics

Fiester said he felt that presenting at a research conference such as NCUR would not only be good presentation practice but would also allow for him to receive feedback on his work and expose himself to the work of his peers. “I hope to gain additional experience in giving public presentations and being able to break down complex material so that those unfamiliar with the field are able to have an understanding of the research and to also take away some of the key findings.”  

Like many of his fellow Eastern peers, Fiester has found that completing research in his undergraduate years is a welcomed challenge, and an introduction to advanced study and research among academics in their fields.  

Written by Molly Boucher