UWill Discover Conference Showcases Undergraduate Research

Marina Gomes and Brian Haight make their presentation on Contact Acting on Mar. 24 at the UWill Discover Conference in the CAW Centre. [Photo by // Samantha Fernandez]

by Samantha Fernandez
The Lance – News Editor

Undergraduate students from different faculties had the chance to showcase their own research at the first UWill Discover Undergraduate Research Conference.

Throughout the day Mar. 24, undergraduate students who participated in the conference had the chance to make a presentation about research they have been working on during their undergraduate degree. The range of students came from drama, to chemistry and included students in first year all the way to fourth year. There were approximately 51 peer-reviewed presentations throughout the day, with about 75 students total.

Dr. Simon DuToit, a professor in the faculty of Dramatic Arts, and organizer of the event, said this conference allows students to make connections and further their discoveries as undergraduates.

“I have to say this is the outcome of the hard work of so many different offices and people on our campus that for me as conference coordinator, it has been a process standing in the middle of this whirlwind of creativity,” said DuToit. “Students have been involved in the conference from its earliest stages and now that we have the first conference in the books, everybody, students and faculty alike, will have a better understanding of what the conference is and how to put it to work so that more and more students can benefit from it.”

Communications Student Kathlene Olson made a presentation on German expressionism in the film “Metropolis” and said this presentation gave her a chance to have her research seen while also allowing her to make connections for future goals.

“Anyone could come to this, so you really have no idea who might see it,” said Olson. “It’s more satisfying to know your research has been heard by people, as opposed to just read by one person. I chose German Expressionism because it stands out so much more than some of the other movements, it is much more unique.”

Presentations were put on by a number of different groups in the CAW commons, including two groupings of presentations by students in the BFA Acting program in the faculty of Dramatic Arts.

Marina Gomes and Brian Haight, two third year BFA acting students displayed a performance based on contact acting entitled “Now What: An Examination of Touch Through the Artistic Form of Contact”, which this summer they are taking to Fringe Festivals in Calgary and Winnipeg.

“It was fun. We were able to open doors to put our research together, and we always felt we were on the cusp of discovery,” said the pair. “There was always something exciting and something new we could work at. It’s nice to have someone else ground you; it’s a part of the process you don’t get on your own. We’re hoping to make some connections through Fringe Festival, and this would be a great piece to take elsewhere possibly in the future.”

At the end of the conference, awards were presented to some of the undergraduate students who stood out throughout the process of making the conference happen. The first place in each discipline won a $250 prize. These prizes were awarded to different students based on over 30 judges decisions. The winners from each different discipline are as follows:

Odette School of Business: Claudia Cheng

Faculty of Education: Wardah Ishaque, Kashfia Nehrin, and Amarah Ishaque

Faculty of Engineering: Liza-Anastasia DiCecco

Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences: Milena Sanson

Faculty of Science:  First (tie), Melissa Mathers, Daniel Tarade. Second (tie), Danielle Lanoue, Kara Picco. Third, Cody Caba

Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry: First, Jessica C. Smith. Second, Yifan Li. Third, Dan Gillett

Best Performance: First, Julius Cho. Second (tie), Tamlynn Bryson, Kyle Kimmerly. Third, The Elektra Company

Blue Sky (Sponsored by the EPIcentre): First, Let’s Park. Second, Coloured Cotton. Third, One Strand.

Viewers Choice: Coffee Quick by Vanessa Bellemore.

Community Connection Award: Kayla Dettinger

Research Talk Awards: First, Annie Kanwar. Second (tie) Tamlynn Bryson and Kyle Kimmerly. Third, Jessica C. Smith

Each of these students has been furthering their research for the past year, and each one of them, according to Dr. DuToit, is a winner.

“This is all research work that the students have been participating in,” said DuToit. “It’s all work that the students have taken personally, and that’s something that they are personally committed to, and excited about, and that’s how great work spreads.”

Avery Meloche presents his acting piece on Anxiety and Depression at the UWill Discover Conference Mar. 24 in the CAW Centre. [Photo by // Samantha Fernandez]

Avery Meloche presents his acting piece on Anxiety and Depression at the UWill Discover Conference Mar. 24 in the CAW Centre. [Photo by // Samantha Fernandez]

Marina Gomes and Brian Haight make their presentation on Contact Acting on Mar. 24 at the UWill Discover Conference in the CAW Centre. [Photo by // Samantha Fernandez]

Marina Gomes and Brian Haight make their presentation on Contact Acting on Mar. 24 at the UWill Discover Conference in the CAW Centre. [Photo by // Samantha Fernandez]

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