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Press Releases

Monday, March 17, 2008

More Than 100 SU Students to Present at NCUR

SALISBURY, MD---When the National Conference on Undergraduate Research comes to campus April 10-12, Salisbury University will have the largest representation of any institution with 108 students. The next biggest group is Utah Valley State College of Orem, UT, with 65 students attending. Truman State University of Kirksville, MO, follows closely with 60 students.

Seventy-six of those 108 from SU will deliver their research as oral presentations. For example, senior Julie Butler, an economics major, presents “The Demand for Hybrid Vehicles: A Statistical Model,” research into what motivates people to purchase hybrid vehicles. While the commonly accepted motive is high gas prices, Butler reveals that the desire to live in a more environmentally friendly way is playing a larger role than thus far claimed. With relatively little research in the burgeoning area of hybrid vehicles, Butler’s study of sales trends is at the forefront of the “green” movement.

Sarah Wright, a junior marketing major, delivers “Criminalization of the Mentally Ill: A Swinging Pendulum of Civil Liberties.” Her presentation includes both a history of the rights of those who are mentally ill and predictions for where current legislation and public opinion may lead. “This is particularly relevant in the wake of the Virginia Tech tragedy, where issues such as forced institutionalization of the mentally ill is a matter of life or death,” Wright said.

To connect her research with the lives of college students, Carolyn White presents “What Makes a Relationship Work?: Topic-Avoidance in Romantic Relationships.” She interviewed a sample of college students involved in serious relationships and examined the correlation between the success of relationships and a couple’s ability to communicate.

During the oral presentation “Burn Care throughout the Ages,” nursing major Karen Roberts explores the origins of burn care in ancient Egypt and Greece, looking at the influence of cultural worldviews on the practice of medicine. As cultures entered the Age of Enlightenment, burn care became more scientifically rigorous and effective. Roberts examines the influence of modern warfare on burn treatment and what the future may hold for the field.

Drawing from sources as diverse as Darwin, American Puritanism and philosopher Bernard Lonergan, junior Stephen Abresch explores the tension between Christianity and science in “The West and the Wild: A Study of Western Attitudes toward Evolution through Western Attitudes toward Wilderness.” A philosophy major, Abresch argues that the distance religion sometimes puts between humans and nature may be at the root of the environmental distress of the planet.

The oral sessions give the presenters 15 minutes to share their results, with 5 minutes at the end devoted to Q&A with attendees. Standing before groups of 15-30 people, students will take turns in sessions with three to four presentations. Scholars who have selected the oral approach represent a broad range of fields, from chemistry to film studies.

These SU oral presentations are all part of NCUR, the largest undergraduate research conference in the nation. Some 2,400 scholars from 400 institutions and representing more than 50 disciplines will present their research.

For more information call 410-677-5046 or visit the NCUR Web site at

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