Nurturing the Scientists of the Future

by Triveni Sheshadri

Since 2006, the fall Nu Upsilon Research Conference at CSUSM has given Kinesiology and Human Development students the opportunity to present the findings of their undergraduate research before an audience of peers and faculty. The 2014 conference, held in early December at the Student Union, featured the work of more than three dozen students in classes taught by Elizabeth Bigham, Kathy Fuller and Yujiro Shimagori. The presentations spanned a wide array of research interests, from attitudes toward disabilities to stress triggers for college students, from the impact of caffeine on well being to the relationship between fast food and sleep.

Bigham, a Human Development lecturer, started the conference in 2006 to give undergraduate students in her Applied Research class a chance to present the results of their research projects before an audience.

“The conference gives students the opportunity to discuss their work with peers and faculty, and gain recognition for their work,” Bigham said. “It increases their confidence in understanding the research process and they obtain additional mentoring from faculty. Many students comment that the experience of presenting at the conference encouraged them to consider advancing to graduate school.”