Fifteen Christ College students had papers accepted by the 2012 National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR). The students traveled to the 26th National Conference, which was held March 29-31 at Weber State University in Ogden, Utah.

“The National Conference on Undergraduate Research offers an amazing opportunity to students, because it allows them to become experts on a topic and present to their peers, and also allows them to engage in intellectual conversation and critical thinking about academic issues beyond classroom discussion,” said Laura Ehlen, a senior double majoring in theology and English from Kirkwood, Mo. “For me, as a theology major from a Lutheran university such as Valparaiso University, NCUR provided me insight about how students from other schools and faith traditions understand significant debates and interpret information in my study.”

Approximately 2,200 undergraduates from more than 300 colleges and universities attended the three-day event. All work was competitively reviewed and selected for presentation at the conference by experts in the field.

“NCUR is a wonderful opportunity for students to present their work and engage in critical conversation about it,” said Edward Upton, lecturer in humanities in Christ College, who accompanied the students. “The atmosphere is constructive and collaborative. Students meet other students from around the country, and get to hear and respond to a large variety of compelling papers.”

The Valpo students who presented at the conference were Christopher Burrus, presenting research in music; Adam Cross, Laura Ehlen, Jacob Just, Megan Muta, and Lauren Zager, presenting research in religious studies; Nicholas Derda, presenting research in women and gender studies; Ashley Gilbert, Halina Hopkins, Laurie Kenyon, and Jeremy Reed, presenting in English; Andrew Jarratt, presenting in political science; Elizabeth Phillippi, presenting in biology; Krista Schaefer, presenting in mathematics; and Diana Stutzman, presenting in cell and molecular biology.

“As a math major, the National Conference on Undergraduate Research opened my eyes to the importance of math in every discipline, and likewise the importance of other disciplines in mathematical research,” said Schaefer, a senior from Valparaiso.

This trip is made possible by generous contributions of alumni and friends to the Christ College Dean’s Annual Fund.

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