Thompson Rivers University

Student research continues during pandemic

December 17, 2020

Enhanced opportunities for student research continue to make Thompson Rivers University a unique place to learn, while providing unparalleled mentorship. 

The Comprehensive University Enhancement Fund is supporting 11 student research projects through the winter semester with Undergraduate Research Experience Award Program (UREAP) scholarships valued at $6,000 each. Funded students may also draw on up to $1,000 extra for operating funds. 

With 23 projects previously supported through the spring and summer, this latest funding makes for an annual institutional investment of more than $200,000 in undergraduate research. Awarded since 2003, the UREAP scholarships are unique in that they move students beyond the role of undergraduate research assistant and give them the opportunity to be the principal investigators of their own unique projects. 

“These research experiences are more vital now than ever before, as they provide exceptional mentorship opportunities for our students and serve to reignite their excitement for learning,” said Sukh Heer Matonovich, associate director, Student Research and Public Engagement. 

“I am so grateful for the opportunity to design and conduct undergraduate research; it is something I never dreamed of doing before coming to TRU,” said Amy Moir, who is partnering with Alyssa Holt on a project in which women support other women to integrate into the community after involvement in the criminal justice system. “I can’t wait to see where this research takes us, and am hopeful the findings will have a positive impact.”

Despite working and learning remotely, all students have worked with a faculty mentor to create a plan that allows them to conduct research while adhering to physical distancing guidelines. Some students will still be able to use campus labs, while others have designed research programs that allow them to work from home.

What are they researching? 

Students from various disciplines will spend the winter (January through April) researching topics as wide-ranging as the barriers to sponsorship faced by women athletes to better understanding the stress faced by international students. 

To qualify for a UREAP scholarship, students must have completed at least 60 credits and have a minimum GPA of 3.2. Each student is mentored through a project by a faculty supervisor.

UREAP recipients: 

  • Amy Moir and Alyssa Holt, “Women helping women: Analyzing how women conceptualize their past criminalization and its effect on their social service roles and working with women currently criminalized.”
  • Gillian Spencer, “The post-harvest effects on the growth of lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta var. latifolia) on the perimeter of harvested strips.”
  • Jenny Bains, “Promoting public interest work among law students: A pedagogical framework.”
  • Keenan Baker, “Studying the effects of prescribed burning and simulated grazing on mine tailings to promote the establishment of native vegetation.”
  • Lauren Okano, “Sensitive detection of parts-per-billion levels of nNisin in dairy products by capillary electrophoresis.”
  • Levi Manson, “Affects of aging on morphological representations: Exploring the comprehension of English morphemes.”
  • Monica Walsh, “Predicting cardiovascular disease risk: Assessing methods to measure the stiffness of arteries.”
  • Morgan Yeomans, “Female sponsorship: The unspoken glass veiling in the sports industry for female athletes.”
  • Sasha Anzulovich, “Improving pandemic response by addressing emotional impacts from stress of working during COVID-19: A qualitative study of law enforcement, social work and hospital staff.”
  • Angela Ippolito, “The effects of biosolids on antibiotic resistance gene abundance and diversity in microbial communities of mine tailing reclamation sites.”
  • Ravinder Mangat, “Analyzing and understanding acculturative stress among international students.”

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