Category Archives: Undergraduate Research

5 major new research projects at N.C. A&T

An array of new research, education and community engagement projects at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical University will result in new services for young victims of trauma, research on preventing colon cancer, and a new joint program in astronomy to be conducted with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  New programs in social computing and bioengineering are also under way.

Five  of the top new research projects funded recently at North Carolina A&T:

The complete list of projects receiving external sponsored funding in September

Undergrads: Research event next week highlights summer and graduate school opportunities

2012 MORE-STEM Fair Flier

Click for flyer.

A&T undergraduates with an interest in research will have a chance next week to explore summer opportunities and graduate schools and to practice their presentation skills.

The university’s research training programs are collaborating to host the first  MORE-STEM Fair (Maximizing Opportunities in REsearch promotes interest in Science Technology Engineering and Math Careers).

The event will be held Tuesday, October 2nd, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the Barnes Hall auditorium.  It will highlight summer research program and graduate school opportunities, with these institutions represented:

  • Baylor University,
  • Duke University,
  • Emory University,
  • Johns Hopkins University,
  • National Institutes of Health
  • University of Maryland Baltimore County,
  • University of Massachusetts,
  • University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill,
  • University of North Texas,
  • Virginia Commonwealth University, and
  • Wake Forest University.

On Wednesday, October 3rd, students in the research training programs  will present their scientific posters from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. in the Atrium of Barnes Hall.

A&T’s research training programs are the:

  • Historically Black Colleges and Universities Undergraduate Program (HBCU-UP Talent-21),
  • Integrative Biomathematical Learning Enhancement Network for Diversity (iBlend)
  • Minority Access to Research Careers (MARC),
  • N.C. Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (NC-LSAMP), and
  • Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement (RISE).

For further information, contact John Patterson, Department of Biology, 336 285-4000.

What you missed this summer if you were away

Welcome back, faculty and student researchers who were gone this summer.  To catch up on what you missed, here’s a roundup of the top research news from the summer. Click on the headlines to read more.

NIH, other agencies change conflict of interest rules; comment period open for new A&T policy

  • The Public Health Service has revised its financial conflict of interest reporting requirements for applicants and awardees for proposals and SBIR/STTR Phase II cooperative agreements.

NC-LSAMP annual research conference on minorities in STEM to be held Sept. 20-21

  • The North Carolina Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (NC-LSAMP) will hold its annual research conference September 20-21 at N.C. A&T.  LSAMP seeks to increase the quality and quantity of students successfully completing science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) baccalaureate degree programs, and successfully matriculating into STEM graduate programs.

Students from N.C. A&T and Purdue collaborate on project for space station

  • Primarily undergraduate engineering students at both universities will design and build the shoebox-size experiment, develop the procedures for operation in space, train the astronauts, process the data, and write research papers describing the results.

Continue reading

College sites lack key features, researchers find

Research poster on media richness on university websites

Click on the image to see the research poster.

University websites are among the top information resources for high school students considering which school to attend, but many are lacking in the features that prospective students find most engaging.

A study by researchers at North Carolina A&T found that media richness — features that most closely resemble face-to-face communication — are widely lacking among a sample of 94 university homepages.

If university home pages don’t increase the media richness of their sites, they stand to lose students in the high-stakes recruiting game, the researchers say.

More details on the study are here.

The study was conducted by Adrian Gray, a junior in the Department of Journalism and Mass Communications . Gray was assisted in the content analysis by journalism professors Kim Smith, Ph.D., and Arthea Perry, MFA.  Their project won first place in the university’s annual Undergraduate Research Day poster competition.

Undergraduate research winners announced

Undergraduate researcher Adrian Gray

First Place: Adrian Gray (Faculty advisors Kim Smith and Arthea B. Perry), Department of Journalism and Mass Communication:
In Search of Media Richness and Social Support Functions on the Home Pages of University Websites: A Content Analysis

Undergraduate researchers Ênio Frota and Paula França

Second Place: Ênio Frota and Paula França (Faculty advisor Steven Jiang), Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering:
Use of Eye Tracking to Test Usability of a Prototype Interface for Fluid Powered Rescue Robots

Undergraduate researcher Jasmine Brodie

Third place: Jasmine Brodie (Faculty advisors Kofi Adu-Nyako and Ralph Okafor), Department of Agribusiness, Applied Economics and Agriscience Education:
Where Are the Healthy Dairy and Grains Options Found in Guilford County?

A&T undergraduates show off their research

Undergraduate researcher Justin Riley presents his poster.

Justin Riley, an atmospheric sciences and meteorology major, presents his research on hurricanes and sea-surface temperatures in the Atlantic Basin.

N.C. A&T undergraduates have gone out across Guilford County, across the state of North Carolina and around the world to conduct research in recent semesters.  Some of their best projects are on display today at the Fort Interdisciplinary Research Center as part of Undergraduate Research Day, one of the highlights of the university’s annual Research Week.

A&T students have analyzed the availability of healthy food in Guilford County, fluid-powered rescue robots, and paintings in the Biltmore House.  They’ve explored the ergonomics of hydraulic systems, literacy in Malawi and Haiti, and energy use at West Wilkes Middle School. Other projects examine green fluorescent protein, sea surface temperatures in the Atlantic, microRNA biomarkers, and a number of projects that don’t lend themselves to short descriptions.

Research posters from five academic units and at least 15 departments are included. Throughout the day, researchers will present their posters to judges who will name winners at the end of the day.

Click here for abstracts of the posters.

Undergraduate researcher Tia Tate presents her poster.

Undergraduate researcher Tia Tate presents her poster, "Specific Detection of Disease-Related Micro RNA Biomarkers."

Christopher Martin, left, and Justin Jones tell the judges about their research and photo reconstructions of paintings in the Biltmore House library.

Research Week 2012 schedule announced

2011 Research Award winners Dr. Fini, Dr. Li, and Dr. Worku

2011 Research Award winners Dr. Ellie Fini, Dr. Zhichao Li, and Dr. Millie Worku

The work of outstanding faculty members, undergraduate researchers and freshman innovators will be recognized during Research Week 2012 next month.

The events also will feature a graduate-student panel discussion and a morning focused on the university’s role in applied research. Keynote speakers will include Mr. Theodore Wood, intellectual property attorney in Washington, D.C., and graduate of N.C. A&T; Mr. Robert Bennett, CEO of US Green Energy Corp.; Dr. Solomon Bililign, professor of physics and director of the NOAA ISET CRC; and Dr. Shirley Hyman-Parker, associate dean for research in the School of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences.

The full agenda is here.  Highlights:

Innovation and Applied Research Day

  • Friday April 13
  • 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Fort IRC, Room 410
  • Corporate panel: The University’s Role in Innovation and Applied Research
  • Lunch speaker: Mr. Robert Bennett, US Green Energy

Undergraduate Research Day

  • Monday April 16
  • 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Fort IRC, Room 410
  • Undergraduate poster presentations
  • Lunch speaker: Dr. Shirley Hymon-Parker, Associate Dean for Research, School of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences

Graduate Research Day

  • Tuesday April 17
  • 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Fort IRC, Room 410
  • Graduate student panel discussion
  • Lunch speaker: Dr. Solomon Bililign, Professor, Department of Physics; Director, NOAA ISET CRC

Research Excellence Day

  • Wednesday April 18
  • 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., Alumni-Foundation Event Center
  • Research Excellence Awards luncheon, noon
  • Keynote speaker, Mr. Theodore Wood, Esquire, Sterne Kessler Goldstein Fox PLLC, Washington, DC

Two Aggie undergrads make good impressions

You can say this about Aggie undergrads: We have some young scholars who can make very positive impressions.  Two students who have done so lately are Leah Marshall, a senior biological engineering major, and Jack Harris, a junior computer science major.

Marshall is a USDA 1890 Scholar and has interned with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service in her home state of Virginia.  You can tell that her work there on water and waste management structures, among other areas, won her some fans with the agency — the NRCS is now featuring her on their website in an “Employee Spotlight” article. Marshall is considering grad school, but if she changes her mind, it looks like she won’t have any trouble finding a job.

Harris is generating some positive exposure for himself and the university on IBM’s “Destination Z” website, which promotes mainframe technology.  The profile of Harris relates how his experience with video games has grown into an enthusiasm for a career with mainframes.  There’s no shortage of people who think video games are a massive waste of time.  Don’t you love an Aggie who upsets conventional thinking?

Abstracts for Student Research Day 2011

Students discuss their Student Research Day presentations this morning at the Fort Interdisciplinary Research Center.

Welcome to Research Appreciation Week at North Carolina A&T.  Twenty-seven students are scheduled to make oral presentations or present posters at today’s Student Research Day event (Fort IRC, Room 410, beginning at 8:30 a.m.).  Their abstracts are contained in this PDF document. Keynote speaker at lunch is Dr. Michael Cundall, director of the A&T Honors program — 11:45 a.m., Fort IRC, Room 410.

Research Week registration deadlines extended for faculty and student posters, presentations

Deadlines have been extended for faculty research posters and student posters and presentations for Research Week.

Registration of posters for Faculty Research Day now closes on Thursday, April 7. Posters must be delivered to Room 312 Fort IRC by close of business on Friday, April 8.  Faculty Research Day is April 14.

Registration of posters and oral presentations for Student Research Day will now close on Monday, April 4 at 5:00 pm.  PowerPoints should be should be emailed to and are due on April 4. Posters must be delivered to Room 312 Fort IRC by close of business on April 4.  Student Research Day is Monday April 11.

The revised full agenda for Research Week (PDF).