NSERC Summer Undergraduate Research Conference a huge success

Six undergraduate students won awards at this year’s Natural Sciences & Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Summer Undergraduate Research Conference at York University.

The students in attendance came from various York departments, and a few even came from other postsecondary institutions, to work in labs across the University with York supervisors.

“Today, you will have the opportunity to highlight the work you did this summer as a research student," said Alex Mills, associate dean of students, to the attendees. "Congratulations to you on completing what I hope was a rewarding summer full of learning and new opportunities. It will hopefully have given you a richer experience and a greater understanding of what you may want to do in the future."

Out of 56 students, a dozen gave oral presentations about their research over the summer, while the rest gave poster presentations. A large team of graduate students volunteered to judge the presentations. Jennifer Steeves, associate dean of research and graduate education, and Donald Hastie, associate dean of faculty, presented the winners with their awards.

The research topics included seeing with sound, colon cancer cells, Type 2 diabetes, Lewis Acids, tracking environmental change in Iqallukvik Lake in the Northwest Territories, electron electric dipole moment determination and much more.

From left: Jennifer Steeves, associate dean of research and graduate education; winners of the oral competition Kevin Borsos, Ehsan Yavari and Seja Elgadi; and Donald Hastie, associate dean of faculty

The winners of the oral presentations are:

  • Gold – Kevin Borsos of the Department of Physics & Astronomy (supervisor: Professor Anantharaman Kumarakrishnan)
  • Silver – Ehsan Yavari (NSERC-URSA) of the Faculty of Health (supervisor: Professor Tara Haas)
  • Bronze – Seja Elgadi of the Department of Chemistry (supervisor: Professor Christopher Caputo)

From left: Jennifer Steeves, associate dean of research and graduate education; winners of the poster competition Nadar Allam, Ethan Brooks and Quinton Weyrich; and Donald Hastie, associate dean of faculty

The winners of the poster presentation are:

  • Gold – Nadar Allam of the Department of Physics & Astronomy (supervisors: professors Ozzy Mermut and Bill Pietro)
  • Silver – Ethan Brooks of the Department of Physics & Astronomy (supervisor: Professor Eric Hessels)
  • Bronze – Quinton Weyrich of the Department of Physics & Astronomy (supervisor: Professor Eric Hessels)

Participating students and supervisors came from: the Faculty of Science’s departments of Biology, Mathematics & Statistics, Chemistry, and Physics & Astronomy; the Faculty of Health’s School of Kinesiology & Health Science and Psychology; the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies’ Department of Geography; the Schulich School of Business; the Faculty of Environmental Studies; and Glendon.

Most of the students received an NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Award (URSA), a Dean’s Undergraduate Research Award (DURA) or a York Science Scholar Award.

The DURA’s were funded through Bernadene Magnuson and Earle Nestmann, the Gérard Herbert Award and the Luise Herzberg Award for Women in Science.

See all the participants in the 2019 Summer Undergraduate Research Conference booklet.

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