The Exhibition of Undergraduate Research and Creative Achievement (EURēCA), led by Undergraduate Research & Fellowships in the Division of Student Success, took place on April 25, 2022.
This year’s event was hosted in UT’s Student Union with 997 students showing 654 projects from a wide range of disciplines and methodologies. On May 2 during a closing awards ceremony, participating colleges presented a total of 91 awards for excellence in undergraduate research and creative achievement.
Senior Ashlyn Anderson is a Haslam Scholar, Torchbearer, Fulbright recipient, and UT representative at the Posters at the Capitol research event. She said, “EURēCA has offered a world of opportunity to showcase my research, connect with other passionate peers, and recognize the importance of undergraduate research. It has given me a platform upon which I have strengthened my presentation and poster creation skills, all while being scaffolded by faculty and staff.”
In addition, the 2022 Faculty Research Mentor Award Winners, sponsored by URF, were announced. This award recognizes UT faculty who have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to mentoring undergraduate researchers. At least two undergraduate students must nominate them, with at least one having participated in the recent EURēCA.
Laura Russo, assistant professor of ecology and evolutionary biology and recipient of a Faculty Research Mentor award in the natural sciences, said EURēCA was a great opportunity for her students to prepare and present their research projects. “For many of them, it is their first presentation, and they are very nervous, but they learn a lot from the process and enjoy seeing the other research projects that are ongoing,” she said. “This is definitely a great way for us to share our work at UTK.”
Since 1997, EURēCA has become one of UT’s premier undergraduate research events and is an annual spring event that showcases research and creative activities across all disciplines by currently enrolled undergraduate students in collaboration with a faculty mentor. This year, student research was overseen by 233 faculty mentors, as well as postdocs and graduate students helping to mentor undergraduates in their research groups. In addition, 150 campus and industry judges participated, and division representatives worked with Undergraduate Research & Fellowships for the entire academic year to provide this opportunity for students.
“EURēCA was new to me, but I am so excited to have been a part of it,” said Jennifer Ware, an award-winner in the humanities division, senior in Judaic Studies, and first-time EURēCA participant. “EURēCA gave me, not only the opportunity to share my current research, but an important line to add to my CV. I appreciate everyone who put in countless hours to give undergraduates the opportunity to experience a research platform that will provide skills that are necessary for those of us continuing on a path that includes research.”