A Rite of Research
Undergraduate students share their work in celebration of creativity
Each semester, UNC Asheville suspends classes for a day - not due to inclement weather or a national holiday, but for a celebration of our own - a day devoted to undergraduate research and community engagement. In spring 2013, the campus-wide event featured more than 200 presenters who shared their success in scholarship and service.
Lauren Flewelling, a health and wellness promotion major, found herself consumed with kids meals. In a research project guided by Assistant Professor Ameena Batada, the nutritional value of nearly 3,500 meal combinations at 34 restaurants was analyzed. The study found that only three percent meet expert nutrition standards. Asheville’s independent restaurants fared a bit better, but their lack of nutritional information made it difficult to compare apples to apples, so as a next step Flewelling will publish her work through a website designed to help parents make smart decisions about kids’ meals.
Another student, Nick Bury, also started his research project with a common problem – finding his way around Asheville using public transit. The computer science major created a mobile application called the “Public Transit Trip Planner,” with guidance from Associate Professor Marietta Cameron. Now he can plot his way from point A to Z and anywhere in between, and he plans to fully develop the app to help tourists and first-year students in Asheville and around the world.
For those navigating campus on April 24, the Undergraduate Research and Community Engagement Symposium offered a sampling of research projects across subjects in the form of posters and presentations. The event concluded with a celebration of internships and service learning.
Learn more about the presentations and opportunities from the Undergraduate Research Program.