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UW System Undergraduate Research Conference Set at UWRF

APRIL 14, 2008--More than 200 students from University of Wisconsin campuses will congregate to share their research at the ninth annual UW-System Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity (RSCA) Symposium at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls April 24-25.

Students and faculty from almost all the UW four-year campuses and UW colleges will participate, giving undergraduate students in all disciplines an opportunity to present scholarly work in a wide variety of presentations and formats. Students will be present their research and creative work ranging from artistic and literary expression to basic and applied scientific research.            

While student research was once the domain of graduate and professional schools, it's now taken a solid hold across the nation's undergraduate campuses.

"There's been a real national movement for undergraduate research, and the reason for the movement is essentially an economic one," says Tim Lyden, a UWRF biology professor, advisor to the UWRF Society for Undergraduate Research, Scholarly and Creative Activities, and director of the UWRF Tissue and Cellular Innovation Center, in which student researchers participate in artificial tissue and stem cell research. "Students with real research experience are more competitive for entrance into graduate school and the workplace, and this gives them something special that's professionally oriented," he said.    

The keynote speaker is UWRF alumna Patty Skinkis, who will present, "A Journey of Passion: The Science at Art of Wine" at 12:25 p.m. on April 25 in the Falcon's Nest Entertainment Complex of the University Center. While an undergraduate horticulture major, Skinkis participated in the McNair Scholar Program at UWRF. With a Ph.D. from Purdue University, Skinkis will also share her own research experiences and reflect on her roles as a student, faculty member, and researcher. A native of Oneida, Wis., she is an assistant professor of horticulture and viticulture extension specialist at Oregon State University in Corvalis.

Throughout the day, participants will have opportunities attend poster sessions, oral presentations and literary, music, dance and theater performances as well as art exhibits in various venues located in the University Center on campus. Presentations, exhibits and displays are free and open to the public.

The UWRF undergraduate research program began in 1992, when William E. Campbell, director of Grants and Research, initiated the first RSCA Day so that students involved in research could share their work in a poster session with the campus community. In 2002, UWRF students formed the Society for Undergraduate RSCA and since then have been active participants in National Conferences on Undergraduate Research and Council on Undergraduate Research activities.  

The UW System Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity Symposium was founded in 1999 to create opportunities for students to share and present their research in a professional-style venue to a state-wide audience. Over the years hundreds of students from among the 26 campuses of the UW System have participated in the annual conference as well in their home campus RSCA activities and public presentations such as Posters in the Rotunda in Madison and Posters on the Hill in Washington, D.C., sponsored by the Council for Undergraduate Research.

For more information visit or contact Campbell at UWRF, 715-425-3195 or email


Last updated: Thursday, 22-Apr-2010 16:08:57 Central Daylight Time


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