Undergraduates honored for outstanding research

May 11, 2017
Melissa Gutwein

Senior Melissa Gutwein presenting her research during UURAF.

Eight undergraduate students from the Michigan State University College of Education received first-place awards at the 2017 University Undergraduate Research and Arts Forum (UURAF). The annual event, held this year on April 7, is an opportunity for students across the university to showcase their research and creativity.

Students presented work in a variety of categories—from engineering to psychology to the social sciences—in oral and poster presentations.

The 19th annual UURAF was the biggest year on record, with approximately 955 students from across the university participating, including many from the College of Education.

“Undergraduate research is an integral component to the MSU student experience,” said Susan Dalebout, assistant dean of student affairs. “These students represent some of the best and most innovative research happening in the MSU College of Education.”

The college would like to congratulate the following first-place award winners being recognized for their research:

  • Robert Aultz (English – Secondary Education) and co-researchers Piet Braun and Rachel Posler for their poster presentation, “Communicating for Performance: Diversity or Similarity?”
  • Sam Carey (Kinesiology) and Marco Lin (Kinesiology) for their poster presentation, “Does the Left Hand Know What the Right Hand is Doing? The Effect of Expertise on Bimanual Motor Learning”
  • Melissa Gutwein (Special Education – Learning Disabilities) for her oral presentation, “‘Maybe that concept is still with us:’ Adolescents’ racialized and classed perceptions of teachers’ expectations”
  • Maggie Keech (Education) for her poster presentation, “Demographic and Culture Relevance to Teacher Pinterest Activity”
  • Lauren Kosowski (Kinesiology) for her oral presentation, “Retention and Achievement of Sophomore Status Following One Year of Intramural Sports Participation in University Freshman”
  • Katherine Woods (Kinesiology) for her poster presentation, “What is the Nature of Changes Students Make When Revising a Previously Submitted Model?”
  • Breanna Williams (Kinesiology) and co-researchers Ten-Niah Kinney and Jonathan Kushion for their poster presentation, “Measuring Postural Control in Experts and Novices Using the Microsoft Kinect”

All students who receive first-place awards receive $100 each and are eligible to submit their research for the grand prize award.

In June 2017, Lauren Kowsowski’s research was awarded a grand prize for her recognizable research. Her research, according to an article from MSUToday, found that “freshman students participating in intramural sports during their first year of college are more likely to stay in college after a year than non-participants.” Professor James Pivarnik oversaw her research.

As a grand prize winner, Kowsowski, who graduated in spring 2017, received $500.

Participating students also received mentorship from college faculty within their respective departments.

For more information on UURAF and the 2017 winners, click here.