The Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Undergraduate Scholars Showcase, held Thursday, April 28, featured the depth and variety of learning experiences offered by the University’s Senior Assignment and Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities (URCA) programs.
More than 100 students, representing nearly 40 different departments and programs showcased their outstanding research and creative activities.
“We know that students who conduct undergraduate research, especially with a faculty mentor, get more engaged in their studies and experience enhanced learning,” said Erin Behnen, assistant provost for academic innovation and effectiveness. “Senior Assignment and the URCA program provide wonderful opportunities for students to actively participate and apply their learning.”
The event included multi-media and poster presentations, readings, live dance performances and more. A team of students from the SIUE School of Engineering presented their Senior Assignment creation of Blind-Aid Glasses.
“Blind-Aid Glasses use sensors to indicate the distance from an object, and feed that back with vibration motors,” explained Hayley Day, a senior majoring in electrical engineering. “If there’s an object that is close to a person, the vibrations will go fast, and if it’s farther away, the vibrations will be slower. We also have a camera on the glasses that plays a sound in response to a specific color.”
Fellow engineering student, Kyle DeProw, a senior majoring in mechanical engineering, demonstrated his teleoperative device. DeProw’s project was a culmination of both his Senior Assignment and his work as an URCA associate.
“These kind of devices are used in the surgical field,” DeProw said. “Surgeons control these devices through joysticks and by looking at computer screens. We’ve seen a lot of progress, but the problem is, a lot of surgeons are complaining, because they don’t get the sense of feel as they operate.
“I wanted to control a device through a master controller, and then implement a force feedback sense. I wanted to prove fundamentally that if we include a sense of feel into a robot, we can control it more effectively.”
Molly Marcum, a senior student-athlete, majoring in both mass communications and English, presented her research on the masculinization of democracy. Marcum worked as an URCA assistant with faculty mentor Elza Ibroscheva, PhD and chair of the Department of Mass Communications.
“We wanted to consider how the world, the media and the voters, perpetuate this ideology that men are the only ones who can have this power,” Marcum explained. “The first step is seeing that patriarchy is here, that masculinity is so dominant, and that it’s flooding our democracy and has from the beginning of time.”
According to Marcum, the opportunity to work on research with Ibroscheva has been life changing.
“It was almost like through her passion, I was able to find my own and really find who I am moving forward into the next step. This experience has helped me to understand what I want to pursue and industries I want to work in.”
The Undergraduate Scholars Showcase concluded with a reception in SIUE’s Meridian Ballroom where each participant received a certificate of achievement.
Photos: Hayley Day, a senior majoring in electrical engineering, demonstrates her research team’s Blind-Aid Glasses.
(L-R) Kyle DeProw, a senior mechanical engineering major, explains his project to the School of Engineering’s Associate Dean Chris Gordon, PhD, and Dean Cem Karacal, PhD.
Molly Marcum, a senior majoring in mass communications and English, presents her research on the masculinization of democracy.