From goth to deadly fungal infections, undergrads present innovative research

Student encourages others to take advantage of university’s PURE Awards initiative

As a third-year undergraduate studying cellular, molecular and microbial biology in the Faculty of Science, Adley Mok, left, details his PURE Award research. Other speakers at the recent PURE Celebration of Achievement were Aasima Gadiwan, centre right, an undergraduate software engineering student at the Schulich School of Engineering, and Emilie Medland-Marchan, right, an honours English undergraduate student in the Faculty of Arts. Photos by Adrian Shellard, for the University of Calgary

By Doug Ferguson, for the Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning

Just as being a national speedskating competitor once pushed Emilie Medland-Marchen to test her limits, being paid to do her own research has changed her perspective as a Faculty of Arts student.

“I’ve personally learned a lot about myself,” she says, reflecting on her experiences last summer as a recipient of a Program for Undergraduate Research Experience (PURE) Award at the University of Calgary. “I think a lot of arts students have a tendency to shy away from this kind of funding because they have this idea that it normally goes to science students, or engineering or medical students, but I think it is really important to take on these research opportunities.”

Personal interests explored

Aimed at undergraduates across a wide range of disciplines, the annual program supported the research of 135 students in 2018 alone. They were honoured at the recent PURE Celebration of Achievement, which was hosted by the College of Discovery, Creativity and Innovation (CDCI) at the Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning.

Successful applicants to the program get to conduct research between May and August on their own topics of interest, giving them the chance to learn under the supervision of some of the university’s top researchers. Awards range from $3,000 for eight weeks of research to $6,000 for 16 weeks, allowing recipients to concentrate full time on their work.

Read the full article in UToday.