First Virtual National Conference on Undergraduate Research Features COVID-19 Presentations

On April 12–14, 2021, students from institutions around the world will participate in the Nat Conference on Undergraduate Research, sponsored by the Council on Undergraduate Research. Faculty mentors and more than 3400 undergraduate researchers will come together online to share their research.

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Dominick J. Casadonte Jr. Selected as 2021 CUR-Goldwater Scholars Faculty Mentor Awardee

Dominick J. Casadonte Jr., Minnie Stevens Piper Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Texas Tech University, is the 2021 CUR-Goldwater Scholars Faculty Mentor Awardee.

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Scholarship and Practice of Undergraduate Research Issue Features Nontraditional Approaches to Research

The winter 2020 issue of Scholarship and Practice of Undergraduate Research (SPUR), the academic journal of the Council on Undergraduate Research, focuses on unusual approaches to undergraduate research such as research for chefs and a video game for biology majors.

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SLU Receives $500,000 Grant to Create a Faculty Position in Robotics and Autonomous Systems for a New, Early-Career, Female Professor

Saint Louis University was awarded a $500,000 grant from the Clare Boothe Luce program of the Henry Luce Foundation to create a tenure-track assistant professor position in Robotics and Autonomous Systems for a new, early-career, female faculty member within Parks College of Engineering, Aviation and Technology.

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UA Little Rock receives $1 million planned gift from Damerows to support science scholarships

Jerry and Sherri Damerow, longtime supporters of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education in Arkansas, have made a planned gift of $1 million to support scholarships for science majors at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. The gift will benefit the Jerry and Sherri Damerow Endowed Science Scholarship, which provides scholarships for students majoring in astronomy, biology, chemistry, mathematics, physics, and Earth Science.

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CUR’s First Virtual UR Exchange Features Undergraduate Work across Borders amid COVID-19

The first virtual UR Exchange of the Council on Undergraduate Research featured many inspirational stories of faculty-student research conducted during the challenges of the COVID-19 environment.

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A Stronger STEM: UNLV Researchers Team Up to Improve Retention, Graduation Rates in Civil Engineering

UNLV researchers are teaming up to help civil engineering students stay in school and graduate. The project, supported by a $2.5 million National Science Foundation grant, will strengthen curriculum, build community among students, and help faculty implement culturally responsive teaching practices.

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Divide and conquer: a new formula to minimise ‘mathemaphobia’

Maths – it’s the subject some kids love to hate, yet despite its lack of popularity, mathematics is critical for a STEM-capable workforce and vital for Australia’s current and future productivity. Now, new research shows that boosting student confidence is pivotal to greater engagement with the subject.

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Hispanic organization honors nuclear waste management leader, cyber assurance architect

Two experts at Sandia National Laboratories have been honored for their achievements and leadership as top engineers and scientists from the Hispanic community.
Evaristo “Tito” Bonano, nuclear energy fuel cycle senior manager, and cyber assurance architect Angela “Ang” Rivas were recognized at the 32nd annual Hispanic Engineer National Achievement Awards Conference by Great Minds in STEM.

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What’s Nanotechnology? Kristin Persson Explains at 4 Different Levels

In celebration of National Nanotechnology Day, Molecular Foundry Director Kristin Persson explains atomic-scale engineering at four different levels – for a kindergartner, a middle schooler, a high school senior, and a graduate student

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$3M Department of Defense award to support UIC STEM research program

A multidisciplinary research team from the University of Illinois Chicago has been awarded a $3 million, three-year U.S. Department of Defense award to establish an undergraduate research mentoring program in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, areas with a focus on engaging undergraduate student veterans and minority students.

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CUR’s First Virtual National Conference on Undergraduate Research Will Highlight Student Projects from across the Globe

On April 12-14, 2021, students from colleges and universities from around the world will participate in the 2021 virtual National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR), coming together online to share their research in all academic disciplines.

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AIP Selects Taharee Jackson as First Diversity, Equity, and Belonging Officer

The American Institute of Physics welcomes Taharee Jackson as its first AIP Diversity, Equity, and Belonging Officer. Jackson is expected to begin her new role on Oct. 5. Jackson’s appointment is a direct result of AIP’s commitment to emphasizing diversity and inclusion in the federation and throughout the physics and physical sciences community. She was selected from an initial pool of more than 60 candidates and is looking forward to leading AIP’s diversity efforts.

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A social-belonging intervention improves STEM outcomes for ESL students

A study conducted at 19 universities by IU researchers and their colleagues in the U.S. and Canada, found that a brief social belonging exercise, administered online before students arrive on campus, boosts the performance and persistence of students in STEM disciplines – science, technology, engineering and math – who speak English as a second language.

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AIP to Fund Programs Combating Racial Injustice, Inequities in Physics, Physical Sciences

The American Institute of Physics has established a $200,000 fund to support efforts by its 10 member societies and an AIP affiliated society, the National Society of Black Physicists, for actions that are a direct response to racial injustice. The AIP 2020-2021 Diversity Action Fund will have a special focus on society actions for Black students in the physical sciences, as well as programs focused on minority communities.

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Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland State University Receive $1.2 Million NIH Award to Recruit Underrepresented Minority Ph.D. Students

At a time when the national conversation is focused on narrowing the gap of racial equity, two of Cleveland’s anchor institutions have been awarded grant funding that will help them turn words into action.

Cleveland State University and Cleveland Clinic Lerner Research Institute received a five-year, $1.2 million T32 training award from the National Institutes of Health to recruit underrepresented minority Ph.D. students and students underrepresented in the science and technology workforce.

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Gender gaps in STEM college majors emerge in high school

Although studies have shown that women are more likely than men to enter and complete college in U.S. higher education, women are less likely to earn degrees in science, technology, engineering and math fields.

In new research, Kim Weeden, the Jan Rock Zubrow ’77 Professor of the Social Sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences at Cornell University, traces the discrepancy in college majors back to gender differences that emerge early in high school.

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Academic Achievement isn’t the Reason There are More Men than Women Majoring in Physics, Engineering and Computer Science

While some STEM majors have a one-to-one male-to-female ratio, physics, engineering and computer science (PECS) majors consistently have some of the largest gender imbalances among U.S. college majors – with about four men to every woman in the major. In a new study published today in the peer-reviewed research journal, Science, NYU researchers find that this disparity is not caused by higher math or science achievement among men. On the contrary, the scholars found that men with very low high-school GPAs in math and science and very low SAT math scores were choosing these math-intensive majors just as often as women with much higher math and science achievement.

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Using LEGO to test children’s ability to visualize and rotate 3D shapes in space

Researchers at the University of California San Diego have developed a test that uses children’s ability to assemble LEGO pieces to assess their spatial visualization ability. Spatial visualization is the ability to visualize 3D shapes in one’s mind, which is tied to increased GPAs and graduation rates in STEM college students.

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UA Little Rock to offer new bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock is introducing a new four-year degree program in cybersecurity in the fall 2021 semester to help meet the rising demand for cybersecurity professionals. The Bachelor of Science in cybersecurity will prepare students for challenging and rewarding careers dedicated to protecting the privacy of individuals, the security of society’s infrastructure, and national security.

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Passing crucial, challenging introductory chemistry course gives biggest boost to underrepresented students

Underrepresented students in STEM received lower grades in a general chemistry series compared to their peers and were less likely to continue. But if underrepresented students completed the first course with at least the minimum grade needed to continue, they were more likely than their peers to do so.

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