WSU to Host 26th National Conference on Undergraduate Research March 29-31

OGDEN, Utah – More than 2,700 undergraduate students and 400 faculty members from across the country will spend three days at Weber State University during the 26th National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) March 29-31. Approximately 175 WSU students will be among those presenting their original research, scholarly and creative projects.

Chosen as the 2012 conference site through a competitive bidding process, WSU was selected because of its long history of actively supporting and taking a leadership role in undergraduate research.

“This is the foremost undergraduate research conference in the country, and we are extremely honored to be hosting it this year,” said John Cavitt, director of WSU’s Office of Undergraduate Research and chair of the committee planning the conference. “This event presents an incredible opportunity to highlight the outstanding research by undergraduates and to show them that their projects and innovations are valued.

“Undergraduate research is an important part of engaged learning where students are making real and important contributions to their disciplines. Students who participate in research find a number of benefits, including publishing their research and disseminating their research at conferences. Increasingly we see graduate programs and employers seek those undergraduates with this experience on their résumés. The process of research with a faculty mentor also teaches students skills that are difficult to learn in the classroom. Students learn how to think critically and creatively for a better understanding and deeper appreciation within their fields of study.”

Selection to participate in the conference is competitive. Undergraduates will showcase their work through posters, oral presentations, and visual and performing arts presentations. The subject areas span 66 different fields of study, including the humanities, the arts, sciences, social sciences, health professions and many others.

Also on the conference schedule are three renowned plenary speakers:

  • Mario R. Capecchi, molecular geneticist and winner of the 2007 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine;
  • Anne Fadiman, award-winning author of “The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down,” the true story of a Laotian refugee family’s interactions with the California health-care system; and
  • Paul Alan Cox, director of the Institute of EthnoMedicine in Jackson Hole, Wyo., a Time magazine Hero of Medicine, and recent recipient of an honorary Doctor of Humanities degree from WSU.

Space is limited for the plenary sessions; however, live streaming of the speakers will be available at

In addition, the conference will feature a visual arts exhibition March 21-31 and a reception March 30 at the Mary Elizabeth Dee Shaw Gallery. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday 11-5 p.m. and Saturday 12-5 p.m. The exhibition and reception are free and open to the public.

A graduate school fair for students interested in applying to graduate schools and off-campus activities is also on the conference schedule, as are excursions to Ogden’s Historic 25th Street, Antelope Island State Park, Snowbasin Resort and Salt Lake City.

During the conference, WSU will take the opportunity to highlight its sustainability initiatives by utilizing reusable bags and other items made from recycled materials and providing additional recycling bins in buildings that will be used during the event.  

For more information and a conference schedule, visit

ATTENTION MEDIA: Those covering the event should contact the Office of University Communications at 801-626-7212 or check in at the NCUR information desk in the Shepherd Union Atrium.

John Cavitt, director, WSU Office of Undergraduate Research
801-626-8541 • 

Michael Vaughan, WSU provost
801-626-6006 •

Amy Hendricks, office of Media Relations
801-626-6346 •