December 4, 2020

Virginia Psychology Group Recognizes UMW Students

University of Mary Washington psychology majors Drew Hickey and William “Heath” Sharp were recognized for their outstanding undergraduate research at the Virginia Psychological Association’s spring conference April 25 in Richmond.

They received the Frederick Rowe Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Research Paper,

the highest award given for undergraduate research by the association. The honor is determined by a panel of judges who examined nearly 50 presentations by undergraduate researchers from Virginia colleges and universities, including Virginia Tech, James Madison University and Old Dominion University.

Their research, entitled “Does Gender Classification of Faces Benefit from Right Hemisphere Presentation?” looks at the role gender plays when recognizing a face. The duo, under the supervision of Associate Professor Steve Hampton, studied more than 100 people during their yearlong research project. “They determined that deciding the gender of a face is a much slower process than determining if a face is human (versus, say, a monkey),” said Hampton. “Their research suggests that processing a face proceeds from the primitive, such as ‘what is it?’ to the complex, such as ‘who is it?’.  In between these two decisions is the decision about the gender of the face.  All of these decisions are made in well under a second and are automatically computed by the brain.” “It’s important to understand how we process faces,” said Hickey, a senior from Stafford County.  At UMW, he helped organize SAVE, a student antiviolence education club aimed at bringing awareness to domestic violence. He also works part-time at Snowden, a mental health facility operated by Mary Washington Healthcare. Sharp, a senior from Arlington, is pursuing a double major in psychology and Spanish. He has been treasurer of UMW’s club basketball team and plans to pursue graduate school after he graduates.  

Students Presented Work at Research and Creativity Day

Students at the University of Mary Washington gave more than 100 research presentations during the annual Undergraduate Student Research and Creativity Day on Friday, April 26. The event celebrated excellence in undergraduate student research by giving students the opportunity to share their work with faculty, their peers and the public. The presentations represented various disciplines, including the arts, humanities, history, mathematics, sciences and social sciences. “I’m so interested in classics and I enjoyed seeing other people get excited about it too,” said sophomore Carly Tarne, who attended a presentation of classics majors’ senior theses. Topics ranged from environmentally friendly packing peanuts and fictional stories, to the effects of stress and a sustainable analysis for expanding UMW. “It’s the seventh year and each year it’s been growing in participants,” said Grant Woodwell, associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “We hope the growing trend continues.” Students presented their work in the form of oral presentations, poster sessions, art exhibits and music and dance performances. “One of the best things was to see people’s reactions. They were involved and asked a lot of questions,” said freshman Yireda Jilili, who presented with classmates as part of her freshmen seminar course. “I definitely want to participate again.” Student Research and Creativity Day is funded by the Class of 1959 Endowment.

Students Present at Annual Research and Creativity Day

The University of Mary Washington presented its seventh annual Undergraduate Student Research and Creativity Day on Friday, April 26. The event celebrates excellence in undergraduate student research by giving students the opportunity to share their work with faculty, their peers and the public.

UMW’s Research and Creativity Day showcases the work of more than 100 students.

The day consisted of more than 100 presentations representing various disciplines, including the arts, humanities, history, mathematics, sciences and social sciences. Presentation topics ranged from environmentally friendly packing peanuts and fictional stories, to the role of women in politics and Napoleon Bonaparte.

Students gave oral presentations from 9:30 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. in Woodard Campus Center. Poster session presentations were held in the center’s Great Hall from noon to 12:45 p.m., with original music performances from 12:45 to 1:25 p.m. Art exhibits and presentations were held throughout the day in Melchers Hall, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Student Research and Creativity Day is funded by the Class of 1959 Endowment. A full schedule of presentation sessions and performances is available online. For more information, contact Grant Woodwell, associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, at gwoodwel@umw.edu.

Chemistry Connections

Students work one-on-one with professors through UMW's undergraduate research programs.

Mathematics Faculty and Student Present in San Diego

Suzanne Sumner

Suzanne Sumner

At the 2013 Joint Mathematics Meetings in San Diego, Calif., in January, two faculty members and a student from UMW presented their work.  Suzanne Sumner, professor of mathematics, delivered the talk “Intensive Experiences for Undergraduate Mathematics” in a session on Communicating Mathematics sponsored by the Mathematical Association of America.

 

Debra Hydorn

Debra Hydorn

Debra Hydorn, professor of mathematics, spoke in a session devoted to Innovative Ideas for Courses in the First Two Years.  Her talk was titled “Exploratory Projects in an Introduction to Discrete Mathematics Course.”  Hydorn gave a second talk titled “Using R for Data Analysis Assignments in an Introductory Statistics Course” in a session devoted to Modern Ideas in Introductory Statistics Courses.  In addition, she was honored to have a piece of geometric artwork accepted through a juried process to the Mathematical Art Exhibition.

Finally, UMW senior Ryan Vaughn presented a poster at the National Undergraduate Student poster competition.  Ryan’s poster, titled “Embeddings of Complete Bipartite Graphs in Finite Projective Planes” won one of the Outstanding Poster Awards.

Janusz Konieczny and Former Students Publish in Algebra Colloquium

Janusz Konieczny, professor of mathematics, has co-authored a research article, Sn-normal semigroups of partial transformations, published in the journal Algebra Colloquium. The article has been written jointly with two UMW graduates, Sean Droms and Roberto Palomba, and contains the results of undergraduate research that Sean and Roberto did when they were mathematics students at the University of Mary Washington.

A Closer Look at Student Research

In the tissue culture lab in the University of Mary Washington’s Jepson Hall, Chloe Fusselman donned a white lab coat, put on gloves and carefully picked up a beaker of liquid. She was practicing her sterile lab techniques with her adviser, Professor of Biology Deborah O’Dell, since the methods are critical to her research project [...]

Culturing Independent Inquiry

Student lab research reveals real-world applications.

UMW Undergrads Get Chance to do Original Research (The Free Lance-Star)

Uncovering the Past

Classics major helped archaeologists excavate and analyze thousand-year-old artifacts in Menorca and Portugal.