U of L student and faculty research to be showcased at two events

The public is invited to learn more about research being conducted at the University of Lethbridge through the annual Community University Research Exchange (CURE) and the Meeting of the Minds conference Friday and Saturday.

Friday’s CURE event highlights the research being done by U of L faculty and students involving community partners. Now in its third year, CURE began as a way to ensure the research being done at the U of L had a way to be used by community organizations, government bodies, non-governmental organizations, industry and the general public.

CURE begins at 11:15 a.m. with opening remarks in Andy’s Place (AH100). Shannon Flint, assistant deputy minister with Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development, will give the keynote speech at 11:30 a.m. Lunch is provided. Speed talks are scheduled from 12:45 to 3 p.m. in Markin Hall, M1040. Researchers with the Alberta Gambling Research Institute and the Alberta Centre for Child, Family and Community Research will give brief talks about their research. A poster session and reception is scheduled from 3 to 5 p.m. The posters will highlight research being done in areas as diverse as men’s depression, rural nursing practice and an investigation into the medicinal properties of prairie plants.

Following CURE, everyone is welcome to attend the finals of the 3-Minute Thesis Competition, which opens the Meeting of the Minds conference, at 5:30 p.m. in the Atrium of Markin Hall.

Following the finals and awards presentation are sessions with the Centre for Oral History and Tradition and Blake Evernden, a graduate student who does multi-disciplinary work in new media. He will talk about his film titled Prairie Dog. Hosted by the Graduate Students’ Association, the conference is now in its ninth year.

“The Meeting of the Minds is a multi-disciplinary research conference for both graduate and undergraduate students here at the University of Lethbridge,” says Mark Carrell, president of the GSA. “It’s a great opportunity for these students to build their presentation skills.”

Saturday’s events get underway at 9 a.m. with oral presentations by more than 40 students. A poster session with more than 20 submissions follows from 3:30 to 5 p.m. and Dr. Louise Barrett, a U of L psychology professor, will be the plenary speaker at 5 p.m. A full schedule of events is available online.

“It is probably one of the larger conferences put on by graduate students,” says Carrell. “If you bring students from different faculties into one space to talk about their research, there’s endless networking possibilities there.”

In addition, Carrell says local politicians and regional employers are invited to attend the conference, giving students the possibility of learning about employment opportunities.

Since 2009, the number of graduate students, both international and domestic, in research-based programs at the U of L has increased significantly. This academic year, 561 students are pursuing masters’ and doctoral degrees. The Meeting of the Minds conference has also grown, with a 20 per cent increase in the number of undergraduate students participating this year.

“We’re really excited to let the community know about the conference,” says Jenna Kummer, the GSA’s vice-president (academic). “Graduate enrolment is growing and it’s an important piece for the University. We’re a young graduate community and a conference like this helps attract students to the U of L.”