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Posted on April 4, 2011

Event Details
11 a.m. - 4 p.m.
April 15
Performance Center, Natali Student Center


The Cal U Honors Program, along with Robert Morris University, will co-host the second annual Intersections Undergraduate Research Conference 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. April 15 in the Performance Center inside the Natali Student Center.

The event highlights intersections between various academic disciplines, research and methodologies.

Dr. Mark Aune, interim assistant director of Cal U’s Honors Program, said the conference helps students to be better prepared for national conferences in their specific disciplines, or for events such as the National Conference on Undergraduate Research.

“One of the cornerstones of the Honors program has always been encouraging students to pursue their own research projects,” said Aune. “Presenting at academic conferences is an important part of this process. Intersections gives students an opportunity to make conference presentations to a local, supportive audience.”

Aune emphasized that students play a major role in this event — and not only by presenting papers. The planning began almost a year ago, after Robert Morris hosted the initial conference last spring. After reserving a location on campus, the students advertised the conference regionally, nationally and among their peers.

“The students have been very heavily and enthusiastically involved,” Aune said. “For the past few weeks they have been evaluating, ranking and organizing dozens of paper proposals. They will coordinate a schedule, making sure every participant gets a chance to share his or her research.” 

Cal U students scheduled to present papers are Chad Morrow, Kristin Orrett, Anna Gerald, Jonathan Thomas, Angelina Lorenzo, Emma Geiger, Sean Carnathan, Tannis Stants, Dennis Zellers, Jessica Marcinizyn, Veronica Kerekes, Rebecca Geiger, Joe Harclerode, Amanda Skena and BethAnn Wilson.

Organizers include Rachael Merlo, Sean Carnathan, Ashlyn Koval, Chad McCauley, Brittaney Stephanik, Ali Dodson, Amy Lanese and Bill Harrison.

“We are particularly excited about the large number of freshmen who are getting their first experience with an academic conference,” Aune added. “We plan to use the knowledge we gained from last year's conference to organize similar sessions for this year.”  

Cal U faculty organizers include Drs. Sarah Downey, Ayanna Lyles, Rebecca and Gregg Gould. Dr. Andrae Marak is the interim director of the Honors Program. 

Aune is planning to have a group of Cal U students base a presentation on material from a Shakespearean literature course he currently is teaching. 

The student project looks at how Shakespeare’s play “As You Like It” changes as it is experienced in different media. The students have read the play, viewed it on film and attended a live performance. 

Marak will be organizing a session on a course he teaches about poverty.

Aune, Marak and the student organizers from Cal U — along with Robert Morris honors program directors Drs. Monica Van Dieren and Philip Harold — will make a presentation the National Collegiate Honors Council conference this October in Phoenix, Ariz.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for us to showcase our program and the hard work of many people,” Aune said.