Undergraduate Research Ambassador Program

Undergraduate Research Ambassadors contribute to the growing research culture at Norwich University. Ambassadors serve as student representatives for the Undergraduate Research Program: they showcase their independent research at campus and community events, participate in and facilitate classroom discussions about research skills and methodologies, moderate panels and engage the ideas of their peers at the annual NU Undergraduate Research Symposium, and offer support for the events sponsored by the Undergraduate Research Committee and the Office of Academic Research. Ambassadors are available to talk with faculty and students about their summer research experience inside and outside of the classroom and to mentor prospective and incoming Summer Research Fellows.

The Ambassador Program offers undergraduates an official title and role at the university level, as well as recognition across campus as a leader and peer mentor.

Hannah Bell ‘16

Bell Hannah 110915-6Major(s): International Studies and Spanish
Minor: English
Title of Project: “Salvaging Identity through Questioning Faith: Christian Women Writers and the 20th Century Church”
Mentor: Dr. Amy Woodbury Tease

Other Undergraduate Research Experience:

  • One of 60 undergraduates nationwide selected to present a research poster for her paper “Love/Law Deconstructing the Binary in Jeanette Winterson’s Oranges are Not the Only Fruit and Alice Walker’s The Color Purple” at the CUR Posters on the Hill event in Washington DC (April 2015).
  • Accepted to present her paper “Love/Law Deconstructing the Binary in Jeanette Winterson’s Oranges are Not the Only Fruit and Alice Walker’s The Color Purple” at the 2015 NCUR Conference in Spokane, WA.

Christopher Eddy ‘17

Eddy thumbMajor: Geology
Title of Project: “Defining a complex boundary in central Vermont: detailed structural transects from the Taconic to the Acadian”
Mentor: Dr. G.Christopher Koteas

“The opportunity to conduct research alongside fellow undergraduates and dedicated professors has been truly wonderful and rewarding.  I have gained so much, not only from the nature of research, but from meaningful discussions and the sharing of both success and frustration.  This was a very good way to be introduced into research.”

Abigail Haswell ‘17

Haswell Abby 111015 a-3Major: Biology
Minor: English
Title of Project: “Investigating a Potentially Novel Interaction and the SRC Family Kinase Fyn”.
Mentor: Dr. Karen Hinkle

“During my summer research fellowship, not only did I have lots of fun working in the lab on my own project but all the researchers would get together and talk about our projects. It was really cool to hear what other student researchers were working on and being able to share the ups and downs. That collaboration and camaraderie that I felt was pretty awesome. This was not exclusive to Norwich, we got to visit UVM and see that they too had this teamwork going on. I learned a lot about what research entails, not only in my field but others as well. Getting a taste of what it takes to run a lab and see all the pieces come together was awesome.”

Lucas Looman ‘18

Looman Student Research-2Major: Mechanical Engineering
Title of Project: “An Investigation of the Combination of Wind Belts and Wind Funneling”
Mentor: Dr. Karen Supan

“The best part about doing original research is that the answers are not found in a textbook, they are only revealed when your own creativity exhausts every solution.”

Anali Luviano ‘17                 

Luviano Anali - 102615-15(1)Major: Physics
Title of Project: “Digital Holographic Microscope”
Mentor: Dr. Arthur Pallone

“My undergraduate research project taught my many things about my field and the challenges that comes with pursuing research. It also thought about myself and helped me grow as an individual. I learned that viewing different possibilities and flexibility are key when exploring a new field of study. There is never one right way to do anything there’s always room to improve and grow. This experience has given to tools that I can use in school and in my everyday life as I continue to pursue a higher education.”

Stacia Melick ‘16

Melick Stacia 110915-8Major: Biology
Concentration: Neuroscience
Title of Project: “Expression of Insulin Receptor and Kv1.3 Genes During Different Gestational Periods in an Avian Hy
Mentor: Dr. Megan Doczi

“Being an undergraduate researcher gave me the ability to learn outside of a classroom setting about topics that would never have been touched on during the school year, and allowed me to practice the knowledge and tools that I gained while in class. It opened my mind to areas of science that I never knew existed, and strengthened my understanding of the complex ways in which an organism functions on a molecular level. Not only did this experience give me the opportunity to strengthen my skills as a young scientist, but it also taught me a lot about my own dedication and drive to succeed, allowing me to realize that I can accomplish anything I put my mind to. Having had the opportunity to be a part of such an incredible program has changed me for the better, both in my academic and personal life. There are millions of topics in this world to research; having had the opportunity to be a part of adding just a tiny piece of knowledge to the mysterious unknown, has made me feel honored, proud and grateful.”

Alex Menard ‘17

Menard Alex 111015-10Major: Architecture
Title of Project: “The Landscape’s Voice”
Mentor: Professor Tolya Stonorov

“Working as an undergraduate research fellow presents the opportunity to pursue personal and academic ideas outside of the classroom while introducing the etiquette and level of commitment required by Professionals. The pursuit of scholarly knowledge can be within the University’s bounds, or within the global realm, offering opportunities to travel and experience the cultural identities of where ideas are born. One idea sent me to the oldest regions of the Swiss Alps, investigating Architecture by famous designers, while incurring me to adapt to various local cultures and strive forward confidently in all situations.”

Ali Shahidy ‘17    

Shahidy Student Research-11Majors: Psychology and English
Title of Project: “How Is Jihadi Information Marketed in Kabul, Afghanistan?”
Mentor: Dr. Travis Morris

Other Undergraduate Research Experience:

  • Presented paper titled “Formal Communicative Pathways: Disseminating Jihadi Typologies” at the Contentious and Contemporary Issues in the Study of Terrorism Conference, UK (Birmingham) in September 2015.

“I valued the opportunity to conduct one-on-one in-depth academic work with a faculty mentor. The research project is a learning process, and I have learned tremendously about academic research from my mentor.”

Kenneth (“Robbie”) Sikora ‘16

Sikora Ken 111015-11Major: Biochemistry
Title of Project: “Investigating the activity of column-bound H.pylori GluRSND
Mentor: Dr. Ethan C. Guth

Other Undergraduate Research Experience:

  • Independent research, Mentor: Carl G. Martin, Title: Git vs Ge: The Importance of the Dual Pronoun in Beowulf
  • VGN At-Large Undergraduate Summer Internship at UVM, Mentor: Coralee E. Tye (UVM), Title: Analysis of Differential Expression in MCF-10A Cells Deprived of Growth Factors

Two things that I value most about the undergraduate research (UR) are 1) the education obtained from working almost daily with a mentor, and 2) the greater understanding of general principles (as well as specific concepts) that I developed. Along with providing many experiences that I otherwise would not have had, the UR has given me the time opportunity to develop valuable skills and become quite familiar with techniques that are important to my discipline.”

Rebecca Sweem ’16

Sweem Rebecca 110915-15Major: Mathematics
Title of Project: “Analyzing and Comparing Gene Expression Between Microarray and RNA-sequencing Experiments on Mesothelioma Cells.”
Mentor: Dr. Darlene Olsen

“During my time as a research fellow, I learned how to expand my horizons to a field other than my own: Biology. It was a new concept to me, but I have discovered that as a Math major, my skills can apply to many different fields and are very important in analyzing and visualizing the data. People always ask me what I will do with my Mathematics major, besides teaching, and from this research project I have viable evidence to show how important math is in fields other than my own. This Undergraduate Research Program provides an opportunity for students to expand the knowledge they have learned thus far in their fields and apply it in real life situations. Applying this knowledge is a precious experience students can take with them that could spark a new career path or help pave the way to graduate school, all while providing a great networking environment.”

Maria Trejo ‘18

Trejo Maria 111615-2Major: Civil/Environmental Engineering
Title of Project: “The Threat of Phosphorus Levels in Lake Champlain: Are Eco-Machines the Answer?”
Mentor: Dr. Tara Kulkarni

“Undergraduate research provided me with the opportunity to explore an area of my choice at an early stage in college. It taught me how to think on my own to develop problem solving skills, even though I had just finished my freshman year. I also learned that nature cannot, and should not, be rushed. I learned that planning takes patience and sometimes some reevaluating. Overall I enjoyed the experience of getting to work with my mentor and share my ideas with other undergraduate researchers in a professional environment.”

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