UG students present exciting research projects in Guyana and Georgia, USA

23rd April, 2019 0 comments

Nearly 400 undergraduate students at The University of Guyana (UG) last week were involved in research conferences held in Guyana and Georgia, USA, to showcase their research projects. The Guyana aspect took the form of the Third Annual Undergraduate Research Conferences, held on April 10, 11, and 12, and the event in Georgia was the 2019 National Conference on Undergraduate Research, an international gathering that brings together student researchers from around the world. 
The UG conferences were held over three days. The first two days at Turkeyen and the third day at the Berbice campus. Day one involved presentations by lecturers on how to support and strengthen undergraduate research. The second day was devoted to student presentations and was attended by almost 240 students, 52 of whom made presentations, while day three took place at the Tain campus and was attended by 150 UG and high school students, with 28 UG students making presentations. The annual student conference is a key component of UG’s Undergraduate Research Programme, which is an integral part of UG’s Renaissance Project and the brainchild of Vice-Chancellor Professor Ivelaw Lloyd Griffith. 
Held under the theme “Undergraduate Research: Sharing Experiences, Making Impacts,” the UG conferences witnessed several firsts—the first time students from each campus presented at the other campus; the first time firstyear students participated, and the first time that students from the Department of Law presented research papers. An additional innovation was the launch of a book, ‘Integrated Phonics Workbook for Beginners’, by Nicolita Benjamin-Collins from the Berbice Campus. The publication  has its origins in the author’s research while a student at UG. 
Student researchers were drawn from computer science, law, biology, agriculture, chemistry, mathematics, environmental sciences, forestry, English, education, and civil engineering.  With funding provided by the Ministry of the Presidency, the Ministry of Natural Resources, the Geology and Mines Commission and UG’s Office of Philanthropy, Alumni, and Civic Engagement (PACE), the Turkeyen conference was inspired by a Keynote Address delivered by Professor Babatunde Ogannaike, the William L. Friend Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Delaware who is a Visiting Professor at UG this semester, while the inspiration at Tain was provided by Dr David Singh, the former Vice-President for Guyana of Conservation International.  
In reflecting on the events, Director of Undergraduate Research Dr Troy Thomas noted that the conferences “provide opportunities for students to interact and share experiences across disciplines and across the campuses of the university. They unite students both in the spirit of sharing with and learning from each other and in volunteerism.” He also observed that, “Our students are as excited to be part of the preparation for the conferences as they are to present their research and this augurs well for nurturing an undergraduate research culture at the university. I am happy and excited to be part of this journey as we grow in breath and deepen in impact each year.” For her part, Assistant Director Pamela Rose indicated that, “our conferences hold promises for enhancing our students’ university experiences, providing opportunities for their academic and professional growth, and offering them pathways to present and explore research beyond the university.” She also expressed that “we thank the government agencies for sponsoring the conferences this year, and we encourage the private sector to come on board.” 

Meanwhile in Georgia, four students and recent graduates, led by lecturer Lenandlar  Singh,  made their first presentations at the international conference. Tiffany Jordan, an Agriculture major from Tain), presented ‘Escherichia coli Contamination of Lettuce (Lactuca sativa. L.) in the Farm-to-market Continuum in Region Six,’ while Ramzee Small, Medical Imaging major from Turkeyen, spoke on ‘Patient Dose Audit in Computed Tomography at Cancer Institute of Guyana.’ Nirvanie Sukdeo, Medical Imaging major from Turkeyen presented her research on ‘Determination of Calibration Cycle for Computed Tomography at Cancer Institute of Guyana,’ and Marisa Williams, who studied Environmental Studies at Turkeyen, spoke about ‘Assessment of Water and Aesthetic Quality of Pit Lakes at Abandoned Mines in Linden, Guyana.’ 

Additionally, UG is preparing to send seven students—from both Turkeyen and Tain—to the biennial World Undergraduate Congress in Germany in a few weeks. Full funding for the team, to be led by Assistant Director Pamela Rose, is provided by the World Congress and the Ministry of the Presidency.




UG team at the conference held at Kennesaw State University in Georgia. From left to right: lecturer Len Singh, Tiffany Jordan, Nirvanie Sukdeo, Marissa Williams, and Ramzee Small. 
With a current enrollment of some 8,000 students, The University of Guyana (UG) has graduated more than 20,000 students who have gone on to successful careers locally, regionally and internationally. The University is also a major contributor to the national economy and to business and industry. Established in 1963 on a part-time basis with shared space at Queens College, UG moved to its own campus at Turkeyen in 1970 and expanded in 2000 with the addition of the Tain Campus. It now offers more than 120 Under-graduate and Post-graduate Programmes including the Natural Sciences, Engineering, Environmental Studies, Forestry, Urban Planning and Management, Tourism Studies, Education, Creative Arts, Economics, Law, Medicine, Optometry and Nursing. Several online programmes are available and The UG also offers extra-mural classes at four locations through its Institute of Distance and Continuing Education (IDCE). The UG also offers the opportunity for student engagement in debating, sports, and cultural, religious and professional activities.

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