Undergraduate research at UAH to be displayed at Alabama's Higher Education Day on Feb. 22


"Posters at the Capitol," an undergraduate research poster event initiated by UAH Student Research Coordinator Dave Cook, will be held for the second year in a row during Alabama's Higher Education Day on Feb. 22. Posters will be on display in a tent next to the main tent on the Capitol lawn in Montgomery, Ala., from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., and students from seven institution members of the Alabama Higher Education Partnership will be on hand to discuss their research.

Photo Credit: Dave Cook

Alabama’s second Posters at the Capitol undergraduate research poster event will be held as part of Alabama’s Higher Education Day on Thursday, Feb. 22, at the State Capitol in Montgomery.

This event was launched in 2017 by Dave Cook, Student Research Coordinator. "I knew that other states were doing this, and since one of the goals of higher education is to raise the status and standard of living of the state, I realized that undergraduates involved in research were doing exactly that," says Cook, adding that Georgia, Kentucky, and Tennessee are the only states in the Southeast that have similar events.

"Legislators need to recognize that a healthy education fund supports high-impact practices like undergraduate research, and that it is an investment in the state and for the good of all," Cook says. "The projects that ​undergraduate students are working on, with faculty and research staff, are​ real-life issues affecting ​Alabama citizens and communities.

Cook hopes the event will highlight undergraduate​ research being done ​around the state with the potential to inform public policy and decisions made by the private sector. "It ​will be a powerful ​ message ​of how undergraduate research enriches higher education's ongoing commitment to ​preparing our students for the ​complex challenges of their professions​ or ​to continue on to ​graduate studies​," he says.

On display will be undergraduate research posters from seven institution members of the Alabama Higher Education Partnership (AHEP): UAH, Alabama A&M University, the University of Alabama in Birmingham, the University of Montevallo, the University of North Alabama, the University of South Alabama, and the University of West Alabama.

Participating students from UAH include the following:

  • College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
    Alexandra Wiegand (Communication Arts)
    Comparing Ourselves to Friends on Social Media: The Role of Perfectionism and Body Esteem
    Mentor: Dr. Pavica Sheldon, Department of Communication Arts
  • College of Business
    Maia Bergeron & Michael Pettit (Business)
    Work-family balance and success in Academia: Are we there yet?
    Mentors: Drs. Sophia Marinova and Wafa Hakim Orman, College of Business; Dr. Dianhan Zheng, Department of Psychology
  • College of Education
    Kristina Shearod (Kinesiology)
    Effects of Boxing Training on Cognitive and Physical Function in Patients with Parkinson’s Disease
    Mentor: Dr. Shannon Mathis, Department of Kinesiology
  • College of Engineering
    Hayden Fowler (Chemical Engineering)
    Investigation of Copper Catalysts for Propylene Epoxidation
    Mentor: Dr. Yu Lei, Department of Chemical Engineering
  • College of Nursing
    Lawren Murray (Nursing)
    Self-care Management Strategies of Nursing Students
    Mentor: Dr. Rita Ferguson, College of Nursing
  • College of Science
    Christopher Helmerich and Everett Cavanaugh (Physics)
    Physoon - High Altitude Radiation Detection Balloon Payload
    Mentor: Dr. Themistoklis Chronis, Department of Physics

Posters will be located in a tent next to the main tent on the Capitol lawn where the Higher Education Day event will be held. Many state legislators and political leaders are expected to attend, as well as over 800 members of the general public. Posters will be on display from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., and students will be on hand to discuss their research.

"Besides another opportunity to share their work, this event will allow student researchers to interact with top student researchers at other universities and also with decision makers in Montgomery," Cook says. "I have no doubt that our legislators will be impressed with the work that our students do and will recognize the positive effect it has on them and the state of Alabama."

The goal is to make the event annual and to expand participation to all 14 AHEP member institutions.


David Cook
Student Research Coordinator


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