Undergraduate Research

UIS takes a multidisciplinary approach to undergraduate research, scholarly and creative activities, providing resources and opportunities for students and faculty to collaborate on active learning projects that integrate theory and practice.

Students then communicate their results in a professional format at the annual UIS Student Technology Arts and Research Symposium (STARS), a two-day celebration of our student achievements. The combination of these activities equips students to meet their career objectives and engage our community at the campus, local, and global levels.

2015 Annual Report

2014 Annual Report


Grace Latimore, an English major, had two proposals accepted for the National Council on Undergraduate Research at UNC Asheville on April 7-9, 2016. She will give a presentation on her documentary entitled “Black Faces in White Spaces”, which was completed as a result of a the CLAS Student-Faculty Creative Activity Program. She will also present a paper entitled “The Revolutions Were Never Televised: A Historical Review of Protest and Black Poetry.”

The UIS Undergraduate Summer Scholars program will provide funds for collaborative summer research opportunities for UIS faculty and students. Projects must be directly related to the ongoing mission of the Therkildsen Field Station at Emiqoun. Please see the application for complete details.


The third annual University of Illinois Undergraduate Research Day will be held at the state capitol on May 5, 2016. The poster session will begin at 10:00 A.M. and will include students from all three campuses of the University of Illinois. Ten students from each campus will have the opportunity to showcase their scholarly achievements and present their work to the public. Students will also have an opportunity to tour the capitol and meet with elected officials. The public is invited to attend.


Brookens Library Student Research Award

Congratulations to Michael Lotspeich, winner of the first annual Brookens Library Undergraduate Student Research Award. Lotspeich revieved the award from Dr. Jane Treadwell, dean of the library, during the Student Technology Arts and Research Symposium at UIS on April 3, 2015. Lotspeich’s paper was entitled “Adherence to Themes in Rural Education Agency Reorganization Research: a Meta-analysis Review” and his research mentors were Nikki Overcash in he Capitol Scholars Honors Program and Dr. Shoon Lio in the Sociology/Anthropology department.


Ten students present at University of Illinois Undergraduate Research Day

UISCapital The first annual University of Illinois Undergraduate Research Day was held on Thursday, May 1, 2014. Ten students from UIS  joined their peers from UIC and UIUC to present their research results at the state capitol. Students were selected in a competitive process by the Undergraduate Research Steering Committee. Jesse Britz, a chemistry major, studied the use of iron nanoparticles for removing nitrate pollutants with Dr. Keenan Dungey. Nathan Hoyle used geographic information systems to map tree diversity on campus with Environmental Studies professor Dr. Dennis Ruez. Justin Mock, a chemistry major, investigated supernova with Dr. John Martin. Biology major Annu Daniel reviewed the medical applications of breast milk with Ms. Jaclyn Peterson. Megan Bott described the cultural phenomenon of Asian hipster cuisine with Sociology/Anthropology professor Dr. Shoon Lio. Kristen Zanon, a biology major, measured the antimicrobial properties of wild bergamot with Dr. Lucia Vazquez. Accounting major Matthew Motley investigated the intersection of politics and tax law with respect to the IRS under the guidance of Mr. Aaron Shures. Sarah Brust studied the emotional labor in the service industry with Business Administration professor Dr. Benjamin Walsh. Keith Wallace designed vision software for autonomous control of a robot with Computer Science instructor Ms. Lucinda Caughey. Visual art major Robert Elmers IV created an original art installation entitled “Peacock’s Tribulation” with professor Brytton Bjorngaard.

The students were accompanied by Dr. Keenan Dungey, Dr. Ron Loui, Mr. Brian Moore, and Mr. John Laubersheimer of the Undergraduate Research Support Program, which co-sponsored the event. Further support was provided by the Chancellor’s office staff, directed by Ed Wojcicki.

Seven UIS Students  Present at National Conference on Undergraduate Research

For the first time, UIS sent a contingent of students to present at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research. Students were selected to submit abstracts from UIS in a competitive process by the Undergraduate Research Steering Committee. All seven students were accepted by the national conference committee. The students represented multiple programs and colleges. Jesse Britz, a chemistry major, studied the use of iron nanoparticles for removing nitrate pollutants with Dr. Keenan Dungey. Nathan Hoyle used geographic information systems to map tree diversity on campus with Environmental Studies professor Dr. Dennis Ruez. Wesley Hill, a psychology major, worked with Dr. Carrie Switzer to study the spread of urban legends. Sophia Pham, a chemistry major working with biology professor Dr. Hua Chen, studied the greenhouse gases at Emiquon. Two students will present from the research group of Dr. Frances Shen in psychology. Brittany Sievers studied the role of religious commitment in college student stress. Brianna Werner studied the perceptions of the college experience by veterans. Nicholas Decker, a biology major, explored enzyme inhibitors with chemistry professor Dr. Layne Morsch. The 28th annual National Conference on Undergraduate Research is a program of the Council on Undergraduate Research and was held at the University of Kentucky April 3-5, 2014.

John Tienken, a recent UIS graduate,  has received a Teagle Foundation grant for a research project on Presidential Rhetoric in Public Speeches. Visit the COPLAC website to read more.

Congratulations to Brittany Sievers, recipient of the University of Illinois President’s Research in Diversity Travel Award to support research presentation at the 2013 American Psychological Association convention in Honolulu in August 2013.

Congratulations to Brianna Werner, recipient of an MPA regional Travel grant for 2012-13. Brianna got her award through the Psychology Honor Society to support her travel to the Midwestern Psychological Association to present research in May 2013.

The Research Society at UIS, a student organization open to both undergraduate and graduate students welcomes new members from all disciplines. Check out the latest news and events at our Facebook page.

Faculty survey on undergraduate research at UIS. Thanks to all who participated in the recent survey. Your feedback will help the Undergraduate Research Steering Committee assess the current climate and guide us as we work towards our goal of empowering undergraduate research, scholarly, and creative activities through faculty and student collaborations.

Faculty grant writing workshop.Congratulations to Stephen Johnson and Kamau Kemayo for being selected to represent UIS at the CUR Dialogues 2013 in Washington, D.C.

Psychology majors Julia Capestrain and Wesley Hill presented their initial research findings at the Association for Psychological Science’s 24th Annual Convention in May 2012.

UIS undergraduate Aubrey Watson presented her research results at the national American Chemical Society conference in March, 2012.

Download our brochure (pdf) to learn more about the Undergraduate Research Support Program.

Upcoming Events and Deadlines

None at this time.

Student Focus


Rebecca Goldsborough, a recent Psychology graduate, worked on three research projects with Dr. Frances Shen.


Troy Kramer, junior in Chemistry, worked with Dr. Marc Klingshirn on iodine compounds with green chemistry the summer of 2012.