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Ithaca College Hosts National Conference on Undergraduate Research

ITHACA, NY — More than 3,000 of the brightest and most talented undergraduate college students from across the country will spend three days on the Ithaca College campus presenting and discussing their original research, scholarship and creative activity. Ithaca is hosting the annual National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR), scheduled for March 31–April 2. Some 200 Ithaca College students will be among those presenting.

Selected as the 2011 conference site through a competitive bidding process, Ithaca was chosen because of its long history of actively supporting undergraduate research and many years of participation in NCUR meetings.

“We are particularly honored to be hosting in 2011 since it is the 25th year for NCUR, meaning it will celebrate its silver anniversary here on our campus,” said Carol Henderson, associate provost and chair of the committee planning the conference. “This event presents a marvelous opportunity for us to showcase not only the outstanding research work of our own undergraduates, but also the quality of our programs and institution and the character of the wider Ithaca community.”

Selection to participate in the conference is competitive, with a record number of proposal abstracts submitted for consideration this year. Undergraduates will present their work across a broad array of subject areas, including the humanities, sciences, social sciences and many professional fields as well as the fine and performing arts. The college’s Handwerker Gallery is sponsoring an art show featuring the work of students in the visual arts.
The conference will include talks by four outstanding educators:

  • World-renowned saxophonist and three-time Grammy winner Branford Marsalis. In addition to his achievements as a performer and composer, Marsalis is a passionate promoter of jazz education. He has shared his knowledge in high school and college classrooms across the country, including the Ithaca College School of Music, where he served as an artist in residence in December.
  • Libuse Binder, author of “10 Ways to Change the World in Your 20s.” Her book and website combine easy-to-follow suggestions with the stories of myriad young people already making a difference, helping inspire members of the “millennial generation” to find and follow their passions, and to believe in their ability to do good in the world today.
  • Scientist, educator and author David G. Campbell, professor of biology and the Henry R. Luce Professor of Nations and the Global Environment at Grinnell College. Campbell has traveled from the Amazon to Antarctica to study flora and fauna, and his books include “The Crystal Desert,” “Islands in Space and Time” and “A Land of Ghosts.”
  • Brian Wansink, the John S. Dyson Professor of Marketing and Consumer Behavior and director of the Food and Brand Lab at Cornell University. The author of the 2006 best seller “Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think,” Wansink has published his research on food psychology and behavior change in the world’s top marketing, medical and nutrition journals.

A Graduate and Professional School Fair will be held concurrent with the conference, for students interested in applying to graduate schools or seeking post-graduate service and volunteer opportunities.

The college will take the opportunity at the conference to highlight its sustainability initiatives through the promotion of recycling, composting and re-usable bags and containers.

Every available hotel room in Tompkins County — and quite a few beyond — has been booked by conference attendees, and shuttle buses will be used to help keep traffic moving as smoothly as possible. Excursions have been planned to give participants the opportunity to immerse themselves in the sights and sounds of downtown Ithaca or take an interactive tour of the Finger Lakes region.

“We have worked together with dozens of community members and a variety of local organizations to meet the many challenges of organizing housing, transportation, meals and entertainment for NCUR participants,” said Henderson. “This event, one of the largest ever to be held in the region, has built many new partnerships and collaborations that will serve both the college and community well in hosting future meetings and conferences.”

For more information, visit /ncur2011/.