Capstone Conference Showcases Undergraduate Research

Attendees listen as an undergraduate presents her research during the conference.

The Undergraduate Historical Society held its 4th annual Capstone Conference on April 6, 2024. This annual event gives undergraduates an opportunity to present original research on a wide range of topics in a supportive environment. The conference is just one of several initiatives the Department has developed over the years to showcase and promote undergraduate research.

The conference is a great opportunity for undergraduates to further develop their analytical and presentation skills. Students who have participated in the conference have gone on to use their papers as writing samples when applying to graduate programs.

Jillian Vargas Wise is a graduating senior who presented her research, conducted as a part of her HY 497 class, entitled “‘Astronymphs’ ‘Aviatrixes’ and ‘Space Gals’ The Media’s Complicity in Undermining the Women in Space Program.” She became interested in this topic after reading about some of the members of the Women in Space Program, namely Jerrie Cobb. Jillian said she was immediately hooked and wanted to learn as much about her as possible! Her paper “examines the media’s complicity in undermining the Women in Space Program by the dampening the pilots’ qualifications while amplifying their feminine dispositions.” Jillian says she learned much about researching during this endeavor including the types of questions she needed to ask. She is excited to use the skills she learned while in HY 479 on future projects.

This year’s UHS officers are Lauren Hudson (President), Lewis Zannis (Vice President), James Golen (Treasurer), and Olivia Womack (Secretary). Lainey Decker and Will Morris served as Officers At Large. Advisors are Associate Professor Sarah Steinbock Pratt and Associate Professor Juan Ponce Vazquez.

When asked about the conference, Dr. Steinbock-Pratt exclaimed, “Every year, I’m so pleased and proud to see the quality of research that our undergraduates are doing!”

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