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A circuit of University of Wisconsin Oshkosh undergraduate research showcases that stretched from the New North to western Wisconsin to Madison and even Washington D.C. continued on April 18 and, for most students, concluded right where most originally launched their work: their home campus.

UW Oshkosh Provost Lane Earns hosted the 20th annual “Celebration of Scholarship” on April 18, concluding an approximately month-long series of showcases spotlighting undergraduate research. Dozens of UW Oshkosh students and their faculty mentors from departments throughout the institution shared and celebrated research findings and creative activities through posters, films and other media. Several students also earned awards to support their continued academic journeys.

“It’s really validating,… but the real recognition should go to the victims I’m fighting for,” said Ashley Leonardelli, a Celebration of Scholarship award-winner who, with the guidance of faculty mentor Erin Winterrowd of the Psychology department, focused her research on “Assessing Heterosexism in IPV Screening Tools.”

Celebration of Scholarship came on the heels of the April 17 “Posters in the Rotunda” day in the state Capitol, where students, including UW Oshkosh biology major Sitha Thor, joined dozens of peers from institutions around the UW System to share their research with members of the state legislature in the rotunda of the state Capitol.

Here is a video chronicling Thor’s research and the Posters event:

UW System Board of Regents member Tim Higgins, of Appleton, who attended Posters in the Rotunda, said the showcase represented an opportunity for Wisconsin’s diverse constituencies to truly rally around undergraduate research and the time, teaching and expertise that drives it.

“This is where the rubber meets the road for so many of us because we’re talking about moms and dads who are proud of their sons and daughters for the work they are doing,” Higgins said.

“We’re seeing business people who have the opportunity to see how a university education can actually do things that will make their businesses better,” he said. “And because were here at the Capitol, we have legislators who see two things: first, they see the practical value of the kind of education our students are getting plus – even though today is about students and student research, a high impact practice that keeps kids in school and keeps them motivated. And they are also seeing, behind the scenes, the faculty time and effort that goes into mentoring the students who are doing what they are doing.”

On April 11 through April 13, nearly 30 UW Oshkosh students also presented 23 separate research projects at the 27th National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) at UW La Crosse.

UW Oshkosh student Gorman Stock was another recipient of a Celebration of Scholarship award on April 18. Stock said the support from peers and faculty mentors has been deeply appreciated. He plans to pursue graduate school at Georgia Institute of Technology and is fueled by what he has learned from his “Investigation of Human Glutathione Reductase Inhibition Viaab initio Computations” – a topic he began to research in his freshman year, mentored by chemistry professor Jonathan Gutow and, in part, funded by the prestigious National Science Foundation.

“It’s definitely nice to be recognized for this,” Stock said.

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