Baruch College Participates in Global Conference Showcasing Undergraduate Research

Approximately 345 students from 10 universities in eight countries presented their work via video-conferencing technology

For the fifth consecutive year, Baruch College participated in the International Conference of Undergraduate Research (ICUR). Held this year on September 25 and 26, the conference brought together approximately 345 students from 10 universities in eight countries spanning five continents.

Thirteen Baruch College undergraduates presented and discussed their research in joint sessions alongside peers from around the globe in real-time through video-conferencing technology. The students received coaching in writing research abstracts and presentation skills.

The Baruch contingent represented students from the Weissman School of Arts and Sciences, the Zicklin School of Business, and the Marxe School of Public and International Affairs. Their presentations focused on a wide range of topics: genetics of developmental hormones in fruit flies; history of doctors in Japanese Internment Camps in World War II; free radicals, mitochondria, and cell function; fixing water pollution using New York Harbor oysters; language rights for Khoisan people in South Africa; India’s tensions with China over its One Belt One Road trade policy; cute kawaii fashion in Japan; utensil design for patients with hand tremors; how gender affects experience of film characters; and social desirability bias and ethics.

“The ICUR is designed to showcase the best in undergraduate research from across the globe and to provide a supportive environment for talented young scholars, many of whom are conducting and presenting research for the first time,” says Katherine Pence, PhD, Baruch College’s ICUR coordinator and associate professor in the Department of History at the Weissman School of Arts and Sciences. “The conference combines global outreach with innovative technology and original research for a one-of-a-kind showcase of student achievement. It is a rewarding experience for them that can help prepare them for graduate school and professional careers.”

As one of this year’s participants, Psychology and Biological Sciences double major Veronica Stocker (’18), commented afterward, “I really enjoyed the event…There was a question and answer period at the end that was quite engaging and stimulated a lot of interesting discussion. It was also fascinating to hear the work being done by other students around the world and it was overall a wonderful experience…[It] has given me valuable insight into the world of research and has inspired me to imagine myself continuing in research as an ultimate career goal.”

Global Conference

In addition to Baruch College—which was the only U.S. college participating—ICUR 2018 featured Monash University (Australia), Monash University (South Africa), Monash University (Malaysia), Nanyang Technological University (Singapore), University of Brawijaya (Indonesia), Kyushu University (Japan), University of Warwick (U.K.), University of Sussex (U.K.), and University of Leeds (U.K.).

This year Baruch also hosted a student from one of the participating universities—Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University—who is studying abroad in the U.S. and presented from Baruch College campus.

Led and organized by a Warwick and Monash University Alliance, the ICUR challenges undergraduate students to “rethink their work in an international context.” The conference requires presenters to consider the perspective of students from different backgrounds. In addition, presenters need to examine global and regional trends within their research field and learn to speak to different audiences outside their fields and in various countries.

Since ICUR’s establishment in 2013, more than 1,500 students from 15 institutions have presented.

Baruch’s participation in this year’s conference was made possible by the support of the Office of the Provost.

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