NACOGDOCHES, Texas - More than 80 students enrolled in Stephen F. Austin State University's six colleges will showcase the result of months of their research during the 2016 Undergraduate Research Conference on Thursday, March 31, in the Baker Pattillo Student Center Grand Ballroom.

"The purpose of this annual conference is to highlight and honor outstanding undergraduate research," said Dr. Leslie Cecil, SFA associate professor of anthropology and chair of the Department of Anthropology, Geography and Sociology. "Students present on the paper or project they submitted, which must be completed during the previous calendar year and be faculty sponsored."

One research project from each SFA college is chosen as top scholar and receives $250. Seven additional outstanding student research projects are selected from each college as finalists. All projects chosen by the URC executive committee, which includes Cecil and Drs. Mark Faries, Eric Jones, Elizabeth Tasker-Davis and Michael Tkacik, will be presented during the conference.

Research presentation topics range widely - from a look at "Women in the Workforce" by Nelson Rusche College of Business finalist Courtney Beatty; to stress management in kinesiology undergraduate students by James I. Perkins College of Education top scholar Marie Wilhelm; to "How Different Art Forms Capitalize on Elements of Artistic Expression" by College of Fine Arts finalist Jesse Edwards.

Other topics include the air quality in SFA's public dining areas by Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture finalists Joshua Miller, Robert Grant, Maira Aleem, Brandyn Fredericks and Nathan Warner; "PR Plan for The Solid Foundation" by College of Liberal and Applied Arts top scholars Amber Juarez, Meagan Beckwith, James Hardcastle, Meagan Sellers and Jovita Ndong; and "Cutting Triangles" by College of Sciences and Mathematics finalist Nghia Nguyen, among others.

Now in its ninth year, the conference was created by SFA's College of Liberal and Applied Arts in April 2008. Twelve students presented in its first year.

In 2009, the Office of the Provost and the School of Honors became sponsors of the URC and expanded the conference to incorporate undergraduate works from all of SFA's six colleges.

Faculty and staff members, students and the community are encouraged to attend the URC from 4 to 7:30 p.m. Admission is free.

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