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Virginia Tech News / Articles / 2015 / 02 

12 Virginia Tech students accepted to national forum

February 19, 2015

students accepted to NCUR
Back row, left to right: David Vasquez, Emily Bell, Daniel Lee, Matthew Johnson, Sarah Spanski, and Nicholas Lucchesi. Front row, left to right: An Nguyen, Michelle Oh, Ava Mohebbi, Cindy Hoang, Alexandria Hubbard, and Nancy Mason.

Twelve Virginia Tech undergraduates have been invited to present posters or research papers at a national conference to be held April 16-18 on the campus of Eastern Washington University in Cheney.

The students were accepted to the 29th Annual National Conference on Undergraduate Research, sponsored by the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR). Their abstracts were selected from more than 3,700 submissions.

According to the Office of Undergraduate Research, in previous years the conference accepted an average of four Virginia Tech students. 

“We are thrilled more students will be represented this year,” said Jill Sible, assistant provost for undergraduate education. “The diversity of projects showcases the possibilities available to our students who want to enhance their education with a hands-on, minds-on approach.”

“That NCUR accepted so many Virginia Tech students is testament to the high quality of our students’ work and is indicative of Virginia Tech’s leadership in fostering undergraduate research,” said Marc Lucht, director of the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences Undergraduate Research Institute and advisor for “Philologia,” the college’s undergraduate research journal.

The students are:

  • Emily Bell of Durham, North Carolina, a junior majoring in architecture in the College of Architecture and Urban Studies, “Use of Portable Tuned Mass Dampers for Vibration Control of Pedestrian Bridges.”
  • Cindy Hoang of Herndon, Virginia, a senior public relations major with a minor in sociology, both in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, "A Reexamination of the Role of Multiplicity, Efficacy, and Funding of Pennsylvania Public School Resource Officers in the Aftermath of the Sandy Hook Tragedy."
  • Alexandria Hubbard of Manassas, Virginia, a junior majoring in residential environments and design with minors in 21st Century Studies and theatre arts, all in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, “Bathroom for the 21st Century User.”
  • Matthew Johnson of Woodbridge, Virginia, a junior majoring in English in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, "Don Juan in Love (and Lust)."
  • Daniel Lee of Fairfax, Virginia, a junior majoring in statistics in the College of Science with minors in English and psychology, “Detection Rate of Alternative Mantel-Haenszel Procedure.”
  • Nicholas Lucchesi of Springfield, Virginia, a senior with a double major in biological sciences in the College of Science and political science in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, and a minor in sociology. His paper is titled, “Self-sufficiency, Violence, and Resilience: An Exploration of Survivalist Practices in the Resettlement Process.”
  • Nancy Mason of Bluefield, Virginia, a senior with a major in history and a minor in Asian Studies, both in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences. She is invited to present two papers: “Bethsaida in the Gospels: A Dynamic Portrait”; and “China during the 1920s-1940s: Interactions between Orientalism and Ideals of Domestic Science.”
  • Ava Mohebbi of Great Falls, Virginia, a senior majoring in architecture with minors in environmental policy and planning and landscape architecture in the College of Architecture and Urban Studies, “A Study of Human Reaction to Building Vibrations due to Occupants’ Movements.”
  • An Nguyen of Falls Church, Virginia, a senior with majors in biological sciences and psychology in the College of Science, “Functional Identification of the Mouse Ortholog of Yeast RIM2, A Mitochondrial Solute Carrier, and Its Role in Metabolism.”
  • Michelle Oh of Fairfax, Virginia, a senior with majors in sociology and history with a minor international studies, all in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, “Technological Age of Hate: How does the type of websites with hate material affect the level of self-esteem?"
  • Sarah Spanski of Columbus, Ohio, a senior architecture major in the College of Architecture and Urban Studies, “A Guide to Vibration Serviceability for Architects and Architecture Students.”
  • David Vasquez Jr. of Virginia Beach, Virginia, a senior biological sciences major with a chemistry minor in the College of Science, “Can Nematode Infections Affect the Outcome of Staged Combat in Beetles?”

The Office of Undergraduate Research is providing funding for the students to attend the conference. The office supports and promotes undergraduate research opportunities and collaborates with colleges, departments, students, and faculty to develop a robust undergraduate research support system.

Students interested in presenting undergraduate research projects or creative scholarship can apply for Virginia Tech’s Undergraduate Research Conference. The Office of Undergraduate Research will host the event at Squires Student Center on April 24. The application deadline is March 23.

The Council on Undergraduate Research was founded in 1978 on the premise that university faculty members enhance their teaching and contribution to society by remaining active in research and by involving undergraduates in research. Based in Washington, D.C., the organization has nearly 10,000 members at more than 650 colleges and universities.

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.