Students Win Nearly Half of Awards at BigSURS Conference

HPU High Point University BigSURS
HPU High Point University BigSURS

Thomas Langford discusses the winning research he conducted with two other HPU students.

HIGH POINT, N.C., April 26, 2013 – Twenty-two of the 47 first-place awards given at the BigSURS conference went to High Point University students this year.

HPU hosted the 6th Big South Undergraduate Research Symposium earlier this month. The BigSURS provides undergraduate scholars a forum to share the results of their research through posters, presentations, performances and works of art. More than 250 students in 20 different disciplines from 18 institutions in the South presented.

“Participating in a conference like this one gives students the opportunity, as undergraduates, to fully experience the professional side of their disciplines,” said Dr. Joanne Altman, director of the Office of Undergraduate Research and Creative Works. “Earning an award gives them an added boost of confidence and an extra credential for their resumes or graduate school applications, as they prepare for that next step after college.”

Students who received the top awards for their research and presentations were: Andrea Baellow, Ashlee Branch, Grace Brinkley, Olivia Bruner, Jessica Chavez, Nikki Franscione, William Fravel, Mary Funke, Meredith Greene, Aimee Griffith, Kayla Guthrie, Drew Hackett, Kate Hensley, Alexandra Huey, Thomas Langford, Lizzie Leighton, Anna Mahathey, Megan May, Cameron McGraw, Brittany Melvin, Alison Parker, John Purcell, Kevin Sanders, Nikki Sanford and Christian Weigandt.

Sophomore Ashlee Branch with her first place poster presentation.

Sophomore Ashlee Branch with her first place poster presentation.

One of the youngest winners was sophomore Ashlee Branch. The psychology major won first place in the social sciences group for her poster presentation entitled “Beauty and the Billionaire: Risk Regulation and Partner Preference,” beating out presenters from UNC-Chapel Hill, Radford University and UNC-Greensboro.

“It is such an honor to have won, especially as a sophomore. I hope to continue this research and work on getting it published,” said Branch. “HPU has really helped me to get started in research early in my academic career, and has given me opportunities that will be crucial in helping me get into graduate school.”

“I could not be more proud of Ashlee for the hard work that she has put into this project,” said Branch’s research advisor and assistant professor of psychology, Dr. Sadie Leder. “It is truly an honor when I am able to share my research passion with a student in a manner that leads them to such personal and academic success.”

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