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University of Louisville students to showcase their research in Frankfort

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Feb. 9 - More than a dozen University of Louisville undergraduate students, including three nursing students, will present their research projects to state lawmakers this week through Posters-at-the-Capitol.

The event, organized by Murray State University, will take place Feb. 10 at the state capitol in Frankfort, Ky. Posters-at-the-Capitol includes students from each of Kentucky’s public higher education institutions and is intended to help the governor and legislature better understand the importance of undergraduate research, scholarly and creative experiences.

“University of Louisville students are getting the chance to participate in cutting edge research projects,” said James Ramsey, PhD, UofL president. “This is a great chance for them to show state policymakers what they've learned and how it will impact the health or economic status of all Kentuckians."

Fourteen UofL undergraduate students with majors in bioengineering, biochemistry & molecular biology, biology, chemistry, nursing, pharmacology & molecular biology and pharmacology & toxicology will present their work Thursday.

UofL faculty mentored all the students, with many projects building on faculty research. For example, three nursing students worked with Diane Chlebowy, PhD, RN, assistant professor and director of the BSN program, School of Nursing. Chlebowy’s research focuses on diabetes self-management among African-Americans.

“I have always been interested in going to graduate school, so getting involved with research will help me in the future,” said Megan Davis, School of Nursing student. “I discovered research isn't just about numbers and statistics - I had the unique opportunity to interview participants in Dr. Chlebowy’s study and experience the human element of research.”

Senior nursing student Colleen Rodeffer said the experience helped her understand the research process and how to become “a contributor of research that validates my profession and shapes its future,” she said.

According to Jody Cofer, a member of the Posters-at-the-Capitol organizing committee at Murray State University, this program enables lawmakers to meet with these students and see the value of this type of high-impact learning.

“This type of work frequently results in presentation and publication opportunities which better prepares students for graduate study and their careers,” Cofer said.

This is the 10th year for the event. The program initially was funded by a Howard Hughes Medical Institute grant to Murray State University and now includes all of Kentucky’s public universities and Kentucky Community and Technical College System.  It has grown from 85 participants to over 200 in 2011. 

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