UMass Amherst Organizes Largest Undergraduate Research Conference in State History

AMHERST, Mass. - The University of Massachusetts is organizing a state-wide research conference for undergraduates to take place Friday April 30 between 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. at the Federal Reserve Bank in Boston. It is the largest undergraduate research conference to ever take place in the state.

The Fifth Annual Undergraduate Research, Scholarly, Creative, and Public Service Activities Conference is sponsored by the Massachusetts Public System of Higher Education and will include 360 undergraduates from throughout the commonwealth. University President William M. Bulger and state Board of Higher Education Chancellor Stanley Koplik will both deliver addresses. Members of the UMass Board of Trustees and the Board of Higher Education are also expected to attend.

While several earlier conferences included only undergraduates from UMass (first UMass Amherst and later the UMass system as a whole), this is the second that has been open to students at all public state and community colleges within the commonwealth. It is also the largest to date, with 116 more students attending this year than last.

"This is very exciting, as it extends the possibilities of participation to a much broader base of students," says Linda Nolan, director of the Honors Program at UMass Amherst and one of the chief organizers of the conference. "It should be educational for all involved to exchange ideas with such a large pool of participants."

Students at the conference will present their work both to their colleagues and to an audience of professional scholars from institutions throughout Massachusetts. Using either posters or oral presentations, they will discuss projects ranging from community service, to creative work, to thesis research. By participating, students will also be eligible to submit their work for consideration and possible publication in "The Commonwealth Undergraduate Review," the journal of undergraduate research published by the Massachusetts Public System of Higher Education.

The conference will also include musical performances by UMass students and workshops on preparing for graduate school and the job market. Bulger will present several awards during special ceremonies concluding the event.