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9 students travel to California for NCUR conference

Published on April 17, 2024

9 students travel to California for NCUR conference

Eastern students Djernly Massena, Alyssa Siranni and Sammy Vertucci enjoy the sunny California weather.

John Walker, John O'Connell, Aidan Reiss, Professor Paul Canavan and Kelsey Ng at the NCUR conference

Music major Aidan Reiss presents at NCUR.

Alyssa Siranni presents "How Does odd-1 Affect Expression of Genes in Caenorhabditis elegans?"

Nine students from Eastern Connecticut State University presented research projects at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) this April in Long Beach, CA. NCUR provides collegiate scholars across the country with an opportunity to showcase their creative talents and undergraduate research.

"It was a privilege to travel with the Eastern students and see and hear their great presentations at the National Conference of Undergraduate Research,” said health sciences Professor Paul Canavan, who supervised the trip. “Their presentations were engaging, informative and interesting. They represented themselves and the University at a national level in a very positive manner."

The participating students were Samantha Vertucci, Kelsey Ng, Djenerly Massena, Kyle Heard, John Walker, Alyssa Sirianni, Aidan Reiss, John O’Connell and Luis Flores.

Vertucci presented her honors thesis in the format of a poster presentation, titled “Violence Against Women in Early Modern Drama: A Present Problem.” According to her, the conference was a comfortable way to connect with peers and professionals from a wide range of fields and career paths.

“The atmosphere was professional but kind, and people seemed genuinely interested in the work I was doing. I was also able to connect with students nationwide in the same field as me, being exposed to research very different than my own,” she said.

Paul Canavan, professor of health sciences, chaperoned the trip.

Kelsey Ng presents on fast fashion.

Samantha Vertucci presents “Violence Against Women in Early Modern Drama."

John O' Connell presents "Decreased Neuron Production Following Simulated Microgravity is Accompanied by Reduced MASH1 Expression."

“The conference was a great opportunity to share my research and see all the amazing research being performed by other undergraduates across the country,” said John O’Connell, who gave an oral presentation on his research project, titled “Impaired Neurogenesis Following Simulated Microgravity.”

Ng’s presentation, “Fast Fashion,” was an artistic exploration of the fast fashion industry and its negative effects on sustainability. Ng also said that the broad attendance of the conference introduced them to like-minded people with similar goals on bettering global systems.
“My research included information about the global issue of Fast Fashion, and introduced the topic through a typographic poster, a medium that allowed me to visually display the idea of an unsustainable process that exploits the worst of our practices,” said Ng. “This conference was an incredible opportunity to connect with fellow undergraduate students from not only across the country, but from around the globe. I thoroughly enjoyed speaking with the many different people in attendance. I also discovered new ideas and methods that I think would ultimately enrich our lives.”

Reiss presented his study on musicology and culture, titled “Cross-Cultural Synthesis: Soviet Romanticism and Azeri Tradition in the Music of Fikret Amirov.” According to Reiss, his numerous experiences with conferences and the aid of Professor Canavan helped him solidify his academic and professional goals in musicology.
“Having the opportunity to present serious and informative musical research was a rewarding experience, one that I hope would assist in the understanding of the complex and multi-faceted approaches to the study of music,” said Reiss. “Professor Canavan was a brilliant faculty chaperone and audience member. His thoroughness and concentration allowed us to confidently navigate across the country as a group.”

Canavan concluded: "It was great to see the students' sincere desire and interest to perform worthwhile research and disseminate it at such a great conference. I have no doubt that all of the Eastern students will do great things in the future.”

Long Beach, CA, the site of NCUR 2024.

Long Beach, CA, the site of NCUR 2024.

Students stayed the night on The Queen Mary, a ship-turned-hotel, on the eve of their presentations.

Written by Elisabeth Craig