USD Conference Celebrates Creative Collaborations between Students and Faculty

How can Escondido, Lemon Grove and other cities reduce greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change? What are students doing to create solar power for a village in the Sudan? How did Low-rider cars become an important part of Chicano culture? And what does Lady Gaga say about today’s feminism?

These are just a few of the research projects to be presented at the University of San Diego’s 20th annual research conference on Thursday, April 14 from noon to 2:15 p.m. in the University Center Forum. “Creative Collaborations” celebrates the intellectual life of USD and showcases the vibrant student-faculty interactions that are the hallmark of a USD education.

More than 166 students will present their research ranging in areas from the natural and social sciences to business, engineering and the arts and humanities. Students will make oral, poster and art presentations.

This year’s projects include students who performed greenhouse gas inventories for several cities in San Diego County, a first-step in setting emissions reduction targets and measuring future progress. For the first time this year, 10 students will give oral presentations. Those include a group of electrical engineering students who will demonstrate how they are trying to bring a brighter future to a village in Sudan with a solar power project.

Several cool low-rider cars will also be on display as part of the Chicano Park Documentation Project to capture the multifaceted identity of the Chicano/a experience through the history of San Diego’s Chicano Park. At a time when most cars were becoming “bigger and faster,” students will explain how “low and slow” became a distinctive part of Chicano culture.

Another student will look at the history of female sexuality from Sarah Bernhardt and Mae West to Lady Gaga and what it says about feminism and women’s roles today.

USD recently announced a $250,000 grant from the W. M. Keck Foundation that will allow it to become a model for the nation’s universities through the establishment of an Office of Undergraduate Research. By 2016, every student in the College of Arts and Sciences will be given the opportunity to participate in research in his or her discipline.

“Our undergraduates are doing some impressive work,” said USD Associate Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry Deborah Tahmassebi, chair of the Creative Collaborations Committee. “By working side-by-side with their faculty mentors, USD students  gain lifelong experiences that extend beyond the classroom.”

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Liz Harman
(619) 260-4682