Research symposium spotlights undergraduate research

Minnesota State  held the 26th Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium in the Centennial Student Union Thursday, where students presented research from disciplines across.

“This year’s symposium is a celebration of intellectual exploration, creativity and 

collaboration,” president Edward Inch said in his greeting for the symposium.

Topics studied by students ranged from microaggressions towards senior citizens, antibiotic resistance in human gut microbes and attitudes about flu vaccines.

The symposium included a keynote address by Dr. Analía Dall’Asén on “Unveiling the Secrets of Extraterrestrial Materials: Studying Meteorites with Undergraduate Students.”.

The symposium also included presentations on how students could use their research to further their career goals and how to develop grant applications.

MSU students presented research via oral presentations, by participating in poster sessions and by presenting art in the CSU Gallery.

Students who participated in poster sessions answered questions about their research projects and explained their findings. Many students also had a variety of reasons for why they chose their topics.

Emily Hodge studied the laws around domestic partnerships and how they varied across states. She started the research after learning about domestic partnerships from a survey.

“I think there should be more diversity when it comes to committed relationships. People only think about marriage. So I just want to showcase that this is another option and that it’s possible. It just needs some more recognition,” said Hodge.

Madisyn Jarvey was one of the researchers on a project studying the impact of hormones on DNA expression in anole lizards during mating and off-mating seasons.

“I thought it was definitely interesting because it wasn’t something I thought I would find interesting, so learning about their behavior and the stuff in their brain is really cool,” said Jarvey .

A project by Gifty Jijo studied the impact of increased employment hours and other economic factors on student performance. The findings of course were not surprising: more hours worked meant lower grades and other negative outcomes.

“There are many mental health resources on campus but not many students are aware that these exist. So it wasn’t until a few months ago I realized that there were resources available to help. So advertising that these resources are available on campus is something that can be invested in,” said Jijo.

Alysha Kruger was one researcher on a project that studied the concerns of students on the issue of safety on campus.

“We found that 70% of students are very concerned about sexual assault and rape as one of their primary safety concerns. We also found that there is a really big lack of knowledge of those safety resources on campus,” said Kruger.

Header photo: Pictured above is Aryee McCabe presenting their undergraduate research project at the Undergraduate Research Symposium in the Centennial Student Union. (Davis Jensen/The Reporter)

Write to Jeremy Redlien at

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.