Students take their research results to the state capitol

March 1, 2012

Maria Moritz’s undergraduate research proves to be good news for her knees.

The UW-L Junior found that kneeling on campus sidewalks to write with chalk is one of the least effective ways to promote research-related events on campus. Her study goes on to explain some of the best ways to reach students regarding research opportunities.

Moritz is one of four students traveling to the Wisconsin Capitol Rotunda for the annual Posters in the Rotunda event on March 7. She’ll share her research with Wisconsin legislators, students and faculty from across the UW System and others who pass by the second floor. Emily Jacobson, UW-L undergraduate research coordinator, expects this year’s event to be a better opportunity to connect with legislators than last year when protesters filled the bottom floor of the capitol and many legislators were busy with budget meetings.

“My goal for the students is to gain some presentation experience and have the opportunity to share their work with as many other students, faculty and legislators as they can,” says Jacobson.

Moritz, who works part-time in the UW-L Provost office, promotes undergraduate research and creativity-related events as part of her job. She convinced fellow classmates to pursue this research project, which would also provide useful information to guide her work. Mortiz and three other UW-L students surveyed about 250 randomly selected undergraduate students to see how they heard about undergraduate research and creativity-related events on campus and, for those who hadn’t, they asked what would motivate them to participate.

Mortiz admits she was relieved to learn that the sidewalk chalking is one of the least effective ways to reach students.

“It’s a pain,” she explains. “Just when you start, people come walking by and you have to pick up stuff and reset.”

Mortiz found other methods — word of mouth or professor announcements — had been the most effective ways to reach students. She hopes this information will lead to better marketing strategies in the future.

She is excited to share these results with UW System colleagues.

“A lot of schools are interested in getting students involved in undergraduate research and the best ways to marketto them,” she notes. “It’s cool to know that what I’ve been working on will ultimately benefit the students.”

Others presenting at Posters in the Rotunda

Greta Foley
Poster Title: Abnormal Production of CD43 in Lung Cancer

Kory Wilkinson and Molly Fahrenkrog
Poster Title: Determining megakaryocyte numbers and size in (insert space here) hibernating and non-hibernating ground squirrels

Undergraduate Research & Creativity Program

The Undergraduate Research & Creativity Program assists undergraduate students with their research and creative endeavors through sponsorship of events, grant funding, workshops and more. The program is dedicated to fulfilling the UW-L mission of fostering curiosity and life-long learning through collaboration, innovation and the discovery and dissemination of new knowledge