Massachusetts Undergraduate Research Conference

Massachusetts Undergraduate Research Conference Date: Friday, April 24, 2020 Venue: UMass Amherst – Lincoln Campus Center. Each year undergraduate students of diverse backgrounds from across the Massachusetts Public System of Higher Education gather to present the results of their original work in oral and poster presentations before their peers, faculty and the public.
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Operating as usual

The 2021 Massachusetts Undergraduate Research Conference will be held virtually on April 23, 2021! We are so excited to ...
11/25/2020

The 2021 Massachusetts Undergraduate Research Conference will be held virtually on April 23, 2021! We are so excited to showcase the innovation, resilience, and hard work of students from across the Commonwealth. Please visit our website for more information: http://ow.ly/AChm50Cv19i

The MassURC is a statewide partnership bringing together undergraduate students from the twenty-eight public colleges and universities within the Commonwealth.

Berkshire Community College Bridgewater State University Bristol Community College Bunker Hill Community College Cape Cod Community College Fitchburg State University Framingham State University Greenfield Community College Holyoke Community College MassBay Community College Massachusetts College of Art and Design MCLA Massachusetts Maritime Academy Massasoit Community College Middlesex Community College Mount Wachusett Community College North Shore Community College Northern Essex Community College Quinsigamond Community College Roxbury Community College Salem State University Springfield Technical Community College UMass Amherst UMass Boston UMass Dartmouth UMass Lowell Westfield State University Worcester State University

Massachusetts Undergraduate Research Conference's cover photo
11/14/2020

Massachusetts Undergraduate Research Conference's cover photo

Massachusetts Undergraduate Research Conference's cover photo
03/20/2020

Massachusetts Undergraduate Research Conference's cover photo

Wishing everyone a happy Valentine’s Day today!❤️ Don’t forget abstracts for the MassURC are due TONIGHT at midnight. Le...
02/14/2020

Wishing everyone a happy Valentine’s Day today!❤️ Don’t forget abstracts for the MassURC are due TONIGHT at midnight.

Let love help guide your research: Two years ago a Bunker Hill Community College student shared the psychology research presentation, “How You Doin’?”: Examining the Importance of First Impressions on Initial Attraction."

Planning on submitting an abstract by the February 14th deadline? Be sure to check out some resources for writing and su...
01/31/2020
MassURC Presenter Resources | Commonwealth Honors College

Planning on submitting an abstract by the February 14th deadline? Be sure to check out some resources for writing and submitting a great abstract:
https://www.umass.edu/honors/massurc-presenter-resources

MassURC Presenter Resources Instructions for Writing a Great Abstract MassURC Instructions for Writing a Great Abstract is a useful resource for students preparing to submit an abstract and present at the Massachusetts Undergraduate Research Conference. How to Submit an Abstract How to Submit an Abs...

Interested in sharing your research at this year's Massachusetts Undergraduate Research Conference? Be sure to submit an...
01/24/2020

Interested in sharing your research at this year's Massachusetts Undergraduate Research Conference? Be sure to submit an abstract by Friday, February 14th!

Massachusetts Undergraduate Research Conference
12/10/2019

Massachusetts Undergraduate Research Conference

Massachusetts Undergraduate Research Conference's cover photo
12/10/2019

Massachusetts Undergraduate Research Conference's cover photo

Massachusetts Undergraduate Research Conference's cover photo
12/09/2019

Massachusetts Undergraduate Research Conference's cover photo

Photos from the 25th Annual #MassURC
05/06/2019

Photos from the 25th Annual #MassURC

Photos from the 25th Annual #MassURC

05/06/2019
MassURC Promo 2019

Thank you so much to everyone who contributed to the 25th Annual Massachusetts Undergraduate Research Conference, which hosted over 1,200 students from twenty-two Massachusetts public higher education institutions. Below is a video of highlights from the event:

by HengWei Zhang

#MassURC is underway! Hundreds of presenters are showing off their projects all day long. Be sure to check it out from 8...
04/26/2019

#MassURC is underway! Hundreds of presenters are showing off their projects all day long. Be sure to check it out from 8-5pm in the UMass Campus Center!

04/26/2019

#MassURC Keynote Speaker Address

This year, Jua Seo of UMass Anthropology Department will present her research project "Narrowing the Gender Wage Gap in ...
04/25/2019

This year, Jua Seo of UMass Anthropology Department will present her research project "Narrowing the Gender Wage Gap in Corporate America" focusing on the gender identity norms and pay disparity of corporate America.

Read on for an excerpt from Jua’s abstract:

“Despite the number of years that have passed since Congress enacted the Equal Pay Act, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Act, women in the United States continue to experience gender earnings disparity, even more so in the private sector.

After closely examining factors that contribute to the wage gap, I have found that traditional explanations such as education and labor force participation rate are no longer applicable. The modern-day explanations of gender disparity are the result of gender identity norms, also known as gender stereotyping.”

See Jua and many other presentations at the #MassURC on April 26!

Studying Hospitality and Tourism Management at Isenberg School of Management, Keegan Eller will present "Dark Tourism: A...
04/24/2019

Studying Hospitality and Tourism Management at Isenberg School of Management, Keegan Eller will present "Dark Tourism: An Analysis of Motivation and Implications" on April 26.

Read a piece of Keegan’s abstract here:

“Dark Tourism may refer to locations that are related to bad occurrences such as death or other disasters. This research explores the reasons behind why people are attracted to places associated with danger and tragedy. Controversy surrounds Dark Tourism, which is why this research proves beneficial in comprehending the rise in popularity of these destinations as well as the public perception of tourist visits to sites affiliated with Dark Tourism.”

Visit this year's #MassURC to see Keegan's presentation and hundreds of other undergraduate research projects!

Abigail Lent's research University of Massachusetts Amherst School of Public Health and Health Sciences led her to study...
04/23/2019

Abigail Lent's research University of Massachusetts Amherst School of Public Health and Health Sciences led her to studying "The History and Ethics of Human Experimentation in the United States" which she will present at this year's #MassURC.

Here’s an excerpt from Abigail’s abstract:

“The United States has a tragic and extensive history of violating human rights in the name of science. The most commonly abused populations were those of minorities, including African-Americans, imprisoned populations, and orphans. It is imperative that these cases are studied to find ways to ensure that these abuses of power are not repeated in modern medicine.

The purpose of this thesis is to critically analyze research articles about experiments that have taken place in the United States. This will allow for a critical analysis of how current ethical codes have stemmed from the United States’ history of human experiments and whether or not these codes will be enough to ensure the rights and safety of test subjects in the new age of technology in modern medicine.”

Hear more about this complex topic as well as from other researchers on April 26!

Studying neuroscience Psychological and Brain Sciences - UMASS Amherst Aazam Najeebi's study of motor skills brought him...
04/22/2019

Studying neuroscience Psychological and Brain Sciences - UMASS Amherst Aazam Najeebi's study of motor skills brought him to his thesis "The Neural Substrates of Superior Learners."

Read a piece of Aazam’s abstract here:

“Motor learning is a critical part of our everyday lives. It facilitates our ability to complete simple tasks such as typing on a keyboard, to complex tasks such as walking on a tightrope. However, not everyone learns at the same pace or reaches the same level of proficiency.

Elucidation of the neural substrates underlying motor task performance increases in superior learners will provide novel targets for neurostimulation and neurocognitive optimization techniques designed to stimulate neuroplasticity and enhance motor learning as well as provide neural targets for further research.”

See how Aazam examines brain function and motor learning during his presentation on April 26 at #MassURC!

Randi Thayer of Quinsigamond Community College is presenting "Witches, Bitches, and Fairies: The Femininity of Fay and t...
04/21/2019

Randi Thayer of Quinsigamond Community College is presenting "Witches, Bitches, and Fairies: The Femininity of Fay and the Like" at this year's #MassURC.

Randi’s work “seeks to explore the feminine nature and morality of Fay; Fay being defined as semi-divine creatures with the power to rule and/or influence the natural world, often small in stature, and dwelling in natural spaces untainted by the influence of mankind.

I will trace how the fairies evolved in pre-Christian Europe, through the Victorian era and Shakespeare’s works, to modern iterations. Here I will show how the use of fairy stories as satire, and the roles that fairies played in these stories, mirrored how marginalized women have been historically treated.”

Will you join Randi and hundreds of other undergraduates as they present their various research projects on April 26?

Inspired by the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, Bryan Chua of Chemical Engineering / UMass Amherst developed his thesis on...
04/20/2019

Inspired by the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, Bryan Chua of Chemical Engineering / UMass Amherst developed his thesis on "iCons: Developing a Portable, Low-Cost System for Producing Medical-Grade Intravenous Solutions Using Bottled Water."

Here’s an excerpt from Brian’s abstract:

“In the wake of the current ongoing intravenous fluid shortage caused by Hurricane Maria in September 2017 that disrupted the production and distribution of Intravenous (IV) fluids, a new solution of producing intravenous fluids on-demand and on-site was called for.

To address this challenge, our goal is to develop a novel, portable, low-cost method of producing medical-grade IV fluids using bottled water. Ultimately, this work has the potential to produce IV fluids on-the-go at the same or lower cost than traditional manufacturing processes at under a dollar. This could help save or prolong the lives of patients who depend on the over 200 million liters of IV fluids sold every year in the U.S. alone.”

See Bryan's presentation at #MassURC on April 26!

04/19/2019

Download the Mass URC app by creating an account in the AttendeeHub app in the app store—explore the presenters and begin planning your schedule 💡It’s easy to use and with a simple search you can start to plan your day.

Eliana Matos of UMass Anthropology Department is seeking justice through her thesis "Silent Voices: How Felon Disenfranc...
04/18/2019

Eliana Matos of UMass Anthropology Department is seeking justice through her thesis "Silent Voices: How Felon Disenfranchisement Violates the Eighth Amendment".

In her abstract, Eliana states that "Felon disenfranchisement and mass incarceration both affect the lives of many in the United States. United States citizens who have lost their right to vote and access to federal assistance because of felony convictions should be able to regain these privileges because punishing a person after they have served their sentence is cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the Eighth Amendment."

See how Eliana analyzes Supreme Court decisions and the U.S. judicial system at the #MassURC on April 26!

Researching natural resource conservation with Department of Environmental Conservation at UMass Amherst and Natural Res...
04/17/2019

Researching natural resource conservation with Department of Environmental Conservation at UMass Amherst and Natural Resources Conservation UMass Amherst Eric Wuesthoff will present "iCons: Spatial Distribution of Sympatric Species of Mouse Lemurs across a Habitat Gradient in Northwestern Madagascar" at this year's #MassURC.

Read a piece of his abstract here:

"The lemurs of Madagascar are a highly diverse group of primates, represented by over 100 species endemic to the island across a wide range of habitats.

Understanding the ecology of these primates across forest types is crucial for implementing conservation measures, with 94% of lemur species threatened with extinction.

Our study offers new insights into the ecology of these threatened primates and can be used to help perform conservation decision-making in Madagascar."

Join Eric as he discusses his research on April 26!

This year, Amy Weiner of Hospitality and Tourism Management at Isenberg School of Management will be presenting her "Cas...
04/16/2019

This year, Amy Weiner of Hospitality and Tourism Management at Isenberg School of Management will be presenting her "Case Study of Deerfield Inn-- Creating Efficiency" at the #MassURC on April 26.

Here's an excerpt from Amy's research abstract:

"The Deerfield Inn, a small independently run Bed and Breakfast, is attached to the Historic Deerfield Museum and Champney's Restaurant & Tavern.

The goal of this research is to assist The Deerfield Inn in attracting more guests and increasing their profits. Objectives of the study include (1) to find ways of increasing occupancy, customer base and retention by advising on marketing, advertising, and overall operations, (2) to enable The Deerfield Inn to be financially self-reliant, (3) to improve efficiency of food production, and (4) to increase the annual profit margin."

Join Amy as well as many other undergraduate researchers at the conference!

04/15/2019

After winning UMass Amherst Commonwealth Honors College's #MyHonorsThesis project, Edwood Brice will take his research on "Step Count and Intensity in Virtual-Reality Exergaming and Traditional Physical Activity" to the #MassURC on April 26.

Edwood's research involves analyzing step count and step intensity differences between virtual reality exergaming and traditional PA (physical activity) with the goal of benefitting college students in their effort to incorporate PA into their schedules.

Watch this video for a sneak peak of Edwood's presentation!

At this year's #MassURC, Rob Pearson of Bristol Community College community college will present his research "Isolation...
04/14/2019

At this year's #MassURC, Rob Pearson of Bristol Community College community college will present his research "Isolation and Sequencing of DNA from Woolly Mammoth Vertebra and Hair."

Here is Rob's extract:

"I am an avid meteorite collector and belong to a Facebook club with some of the most respected scientists in the field. One such member is Jose Garcia, the curator of the Canaria Meteorite Museum and Education Center in Santa Maria, Spain. In addition to meteorites, they also study various rare fossil specimens.

Jose is in possession of some very interesting samples. When I told him I was a Biotechnology/Forensic DNA major, he enthusiastically agreed to donate some samples in the hope that Bristol Community College could use them as a learning experience for our program.

Throughout the semester, we will be attempting to extract DNA from 50,000-year-old hair and vertebrae samples from Mammuthus primigenius taken directly from the permafrost in Yakutia, Siberia."

Come find out more about this fascinating research project at the upcoming #MassURC on April 26th!

Kathryn Franklin of UMass Amherst School of Public Health and Health Sciences will present her research "Private versus ...
04/13/2019

Kathryn Franklin of UMass Amherst School of Public Health and Health Sciences will present her research "Private versus Public Healthcare Structures: A Comparative Analysis of Maternal Mortality Rates in the U.S. vs. Greece" at this year's #MassURC.

Read a piece of her abstract here:

"The United States has recently been deemed 'the most dangerous place in the world to give birth' due, not only, to the high rates of maternal deaths compared to other developed nations, but also to the continual increase in the nation's rate of maternal deaths over the past few decades.

This analysis explores how different political and economic decisions, manifested in the implementation of private (neoliberal) versus public systems, impacts the delivery of maternal healthcare."

Join Kathryn and hundreds of other presenters at the conference on April 26!

#MassURC is honored to host Chelsea Cabral at this year's conference. Studying English Literature UMass Dartmouth, Chels...
04/12/2019

#MassURC is honored to host Chelsea Cabral at this year's conference. Studying English Literature UMass Dartmouth, Chelsea will be presenting "'Some Matching Strangeness': Reconciling Home and Liminal Spaces in Octavia Butler's Kindred."

Here's an excerpt from her abstract:

"Octavia Butler's neo-slave narrative, Kindred (1978), follows Dana, a modern-day Black woman who suddenly time-travels to the antebellum South to save her white ancestor - the son of a slave owner. Inhabiting both historical and contemporary time, Dana is thrust into an ambiguous space that leaves her susceptible to physical trauma enacted by white plantation owners, while simultaneously attaining a new and embodied lens of perception to the horrors of American racism.

Drawing upon theories of space, trauma, and memory, my work interrogates the ways in which Butler's protagonist maintains and cultivates communal and self-agency given her repeated temporal and spatial dislocations."

See her presentation at #MassURC on April 26th!

On April 26, Kavya Ramachandran of UMass Amherst College of Engineering and Chemical Engineering / UMass Amherst is pres...
04/11/2019

On April 26, Kavya Ramachandran of UMass Amherst College of Engineering and Chemical Engineering / UMass Amherst is presenting her research, "Replicating a 3D Tumor Microenvironment Via Automation of a High-Throughput Microfluidic Device."

Kavya is building a device that mimics the delivery mechanism and systematic clearance of chemotherapeutic drugs from blood vessels and tissues as seen in the body. Come hear more about it at #MassURC!

We are pleased to announce this year's #MassURC keynote! Professor Maria Ivanova is of the John W. McCormack Graduate Sc...
03/09/2019

We are pleased to announce this year's #MassURC keynote! Professor Maria Ivanova is of the John W. McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies at UMass Boston. She will be coming to UMass Amherst to discuss global leadership in relation to global environmental issues.

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Maria Ivanova is an international relations and environmental policy scholar. Her research focuses on international environmental institutions and their performance, environmental sustainability, and the science-policy interface. She studies the implementation of global environmental conventions and the policy processes around the Sustainable Development Goals. She is Associate Professor of Global Governance at the John W. McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies at the University of Massachusetts Boston where she also directs the Center for Governance and Sustainability. She was a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the U.N. Secretary-General from 2014 to 2017 and is a Board member of the U.N. University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS), the Global Young Academy, and the Millennium Institute and an Andrew Carnegie Fellow.


Ivanova’s career, marked by teaching excellence and policy leadership, has bridged academia and policy. Her academic work has been recognized for bringing analytical rigor and innovative input to the international negotiations on reforming the U.N. system for environment. She works closely with national governments, UN agencies, and convention secretariats in providing an academic perspective into their international environmental governance work. Ivanova holds a PhD (with distinction) and two master's degrees, in international relations and environmental management, from Yale University, and a bachelor’s degree from Mount Holyoke College.

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UMass Amherst - Lincoln Campus Center
Amherst, MA

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Special presentation to honor #mlk50 commemoration wt #kingjr family member at #MassURC2018 International Jazz Day to pay homage to #kinglegacy UMass Boston Honors College UMass Boston Performing Arts