Students in Spotlight at UL System Undergraduate Research Day

NATCHITOCHES, La. – Over 60 students participated in the first annual University of Louisiana System Undergraduate Research Day held on Northwestern State University’s campus on March 18, 2011.  All eight UL System universities were represented in the 39 student research presentations, and students from McNeese State University and Southeastern Louisiana University won the juried art show.

“This event was exciting and really showcased what our system is all about: students.  Research days are prolific on our campuses, but this was significant as we came together as a system to share experiences, findings and, hopefully, opened the door for cross-campus collaboration,” said UL System President Randy Moffett.

As part of the day, faculty members were invited to hear about national practices in undergraduate research from Bill Campbell, President-Elect of the Council for Undergraduate Research (CUR), a national organization representing over 900 colleges and universities.  Campbell, who attended several student sessions, also addressed the students over lunch.

“In my view, the first UL System undergraduate research day was a complete success.  I was very impressed with the students whose presentations I attended, and also by their faculty mentors.  I hope to come back for next year’s Research Day at McNeese,” said Campbell.

As this will be an annual event for the UL System, campuses have already lined up to host the next three years: McNeese in 2012, University of Louisiana at Monroe in 2013 and Nicholls State University in 2014.  Additionally, the System has decided to merge Undergraduate Research Day with the UL System Service-Learning Conference to make it an annual two-day event each spring.

“I cannot think of a better way to celebrate the exceptional student learning experiences going on at our universities than to bring service-learning and undergraduate research together.  This will be a hallmark event for our system for years to come,” said Moffett.


As part of undergraduate research day, thirty-two pieces were selected out of 100 submissions for a juried art show judged by Christopher King, Director of the Art Department at the Louisiana School for Math, Science and the Arts.  Winners of the show were as follows:

  • BEST OF SHOW: McNeese State University student Mary Donaldson’s “Trinity”
  • FIRST PLACE: McNeese State University student Robin Stodder’s “Scars”
  • SECOND PLACE: McNeese State University student Meagan Green’s “Consumption 2”
  • THIRD PLACE: Southeastern Louisiana University student Reece McCance’s “Senior Drawing”

Below is a complete list of student participants by university, including presenters and artists.

Grambling State University: Landis Anderson, Lennie Andrew, Gabriel Burks, Nola Eugene, Orlando Lewellen, Dane McLean, Naja Simeon, Alex Trochez and Ronald Weekes


Louisiana Tech University: Lydia Andreu, Chelsea Dressel, Dane Harris, Hannah Ray and Steuart Turner


McNeese State University: Tonia Beaux, Alvy Carragher, Benjamin Clark, Katherine Daniel, Mary Donaldson, Meagan Green, Aaron Moreau and Robin Stodder


Nicholls State University: Catlin Morris Bacon, Matt Bordelon, Abbie Burt, Kandice Champagne, Ryan Crochet, Heather Dupre, Erin Folse, Greta Gerstner, Bethany Grabert, Kayla Griffin, Callie Harrison, Seth Lapeyrouse, Gale Navarre, Bijeta Prasai, Natalia Zamora Ruiz, Amanda St. Pierre, Seth Thibodaux, Tessa Weatherall, Fagan Willoughby and Amy Jo Wisehart


Northwestern State University: Whitney Gochinas, Laramie Lemon, Margaret Rodriguez, Tiffany Williams and Lauren Wrubluski


Southeastern Louisiana University: Amber Bordelon, Danielle Fabre, Charly Genco, Lindsey Lizak, Reece McCance and Casey Mizell


University of Louisiana at Lafayette: Molly Dugas, Ariane Martin, Manik Rajora and Chase Savoy


University of Louisiana at Monroe: Brody Bourque, Katie Davis, Dustin Lovas, Jonathan Mathieu, Destiny Parker and Moustafa El Sayeed

Group photos of each university’s participants with Board Chair Winfred Sibille and Board Member Jimmy Long are above.