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Supporting Undergraduate Research at Abilene Christian University since 2009

Spring Conference Travel

Posted by on May 8, 2017 in Arts, Conferences, Feature, Humanities, Social Sciences, STEM | Comments Off on Spring Conference Travel

This spring more than 30 ACU Undergraduate Researchers and 16 Faculty Mentors traveled to conferences across the country to present their research and creative works. These conferences include:

  • 4th Annual Cultural Inclusion Conference
  • Alpha Chi National Conference
  • American Advertising Awards & DSVC National Student Show and Conference
  • American Chemical Society National Conference
  • American Educational Research Association
  • College Band Directors National Association Conference
  • National Conference of Chemical Education
  • NYC Senior Showcase
  • South-Central Renaissance Conference
  • Southwestern Psychological Association
  • Texas Academy of Science Annual Meeting
  • Texas Branch American Society for Microbiology Spring Meeting
  • Texas Music Educators Association Conference
  • Texas Society of Mammalogists
  • Western Social Science Association Annual Conference

Here are some photos from the conferences:






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Fall Conferences 2016

Posted by on Nov 29, 2016 in Activities, Arts, Conferences, Feature, Grants, Social Sciences, STEM | Comments Off on Fall Conferences 2016

ACU undergraduate students and their mentors presented their work at conferences this fall across the US and in Canada. Conferences at which students presented include:

  • Texoma region of the National Association of Teachers of Singing Conference
  • Quadrennial Physics Conference
  • North American Christians in Social Work Annual convention
  • Evolution 2016
  • University of New Mexico McNair Research Conference
  • 2016 Fall Meeting of the APS Division of Nuclear Physics
  • 2016 Developing Excellence Forum: WASH Summit
  • Literacy Research Association
  • National McNair Research Conference in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin
  • Consortium of State Organizations for Texas Teacher Education
  • Optical Society of America Frontiers in Optics:The 100th OSA Annual Meeting and Exhibit/Laser Science XXXII
  • Association for the Sociology of Religion


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Research Dinner 2016

Posted by on Nov 15, 2016 in Activities, Feature, Student Researcher | Comments Off on Research Dinner 2016

Laura Hill Ortensie, Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Undergraduate Research of the Year.

Laura Hill Ortensie, Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Undergraduate Research of the Year.

Hannah Hamilton, STEM Undergraduate Researcher of the Year

Hannah Hamilton, STEM Undergraduate Researcher of the Year

Tuesday, October 25, ACU undergraduate researchers and their mentors got together to celebrate research done by ACU students in the past year. This year the dinner was held in the Shore Art Gallery. Work by faculty and students from the Art and Design Summer study abroad was on display. David Marolf (Chemistry and Biochemistry) and Audie Pope (Art and Design) spoke about their experience in participating in undergraduate research and creative activity.

Undergraduate Researcher of the Year Finalists and Winners were announced in two categories: STEM and Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.

The finalists in STEM were Hannah Hamilton (Engineering and Physics), Kayla Holcomb (School of Information Technology and Computing ) and David Marolf (Chemistry and Biochemistry). Hannah Hamilton was named 2016 STEM Undergraduate Researcher of the Year.

The finalists in Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences were Chelesea Fordham (Social Work), Laura Hill Ortensie (Psychology), and Jade Ford (Social Work).  Laura Hill Ortensie was named the 2016 Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Undergraduate Researcher of the Year.

The mentors for these students were Drs. Joshua Willis and Rusty Towell (Hamilton), Dr. Ray Petit (Holcomb), Dr. Greg Powell (Marolf), Dr. Stephen Baldridge (Fordham), Dr. Cherisse Flanagan (Ortensie) and Dr. Amy Kalb (Ford).


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Student Opportunities Center

Posted by on Aug 30, 2016 in Announcement, Faculty Mentor, Feature, Journal Articles, Student Researcher, Summer Research Opportunities | Comments Off on Student Opportunities Center

Starting September 1, ACU undergraduate researchers and mentors will have access to the Student Opportunities Center (S.O.C.).

The S.O.C. is a platform which connects students to over 10,000 student conferences, journals, new and prestigious experiential learning opportunities (scholarship, fellowship, community/civic engagement), and undergraduate research opportunities.

Sign-up for the Student Opportunities Center by going to: and creating an account with your ACU email address.

To learn more watch the Introduction/ Tutorial video:

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2016 Summer Research Round Up

Posted by on Aug 30, 2016 in Arts, Feature, Humanities, Social Sciences, STEM, Student Researcher | Comments Off on 2016 Summer Research Round Up

ACU students participated in a wide variety of research experiences at ACU and around the World.

Researching Across the World

David Marolf, senior chemistry major, did a chemistry research internship with a group in Mainz, Germany. While there he worked on making nanoparticles.

Seniors Maya Feller and Daisy Gomez traveled with Dr. Tom Lee, chair of the Biology Department, to Ecuador to study the ecology of Ecuador and try to study new species.

Physics senior Hannah Hamilton traveled with Dr. Josh Willis to Hannover, Germany to work at the Albert Einstein Institute for Gravitational Physics.

Researching Across the US

Senior Chemistry and Physics major James Johnstone participated in the Research Experience for Undergraduates internship in the Chemistry department at Texas A&M.

Five engineering and physics majors traveled with Drs. Michael Daugherity and Donald Isenhower to Chicago to work at the Fermilab.

Four engineering and phsyics majors traveled with Dr. Rusty Towell to New York to work at Brookhaven National Laboratory.

Researching Across Campus

Seventeen student performed research as part of the McNair Scholars Program in departments all across campus. Read more about McNair Scholars on the McNair Scholar blog.

In the department of Music, Geoffrey Driggers and Cole Spears worked with Dr. Brandon Houghtalen on redesigning the music technology in the Williams Performing Arts Center.

Nine undergraduates worked with five faculty faculty members in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. They ended the summer with a mini-conference with research students from McMurry University.

While some of the department off doing research in Germany, New York, and Illinois. Other members of the department of Engineering and Physics, were working hard performing research back in Abilene. Five engineering and physics majors worked with three faculty members on projects from water purity to lasers.

In the biology department, besides Dr. Lee’s trip to Ecuador, three biology majors worked with two faculty members.


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2015-2016 Undergraduate Research Mentors of the Year

Posted by on Apr 17, 2016 in Faculty Mentor, Feature | Comments Off on 2015-2016 Undergraduate Research Mentors of the Year

Each year, 3 professors involved in research are chosen by ACU students to receive the Mentor of the Year Award.

This year the winners were Dr. Michael Daugherity, Dr. Christopher Hutson, and Dr. Anita Broxson.

  • Dr.  Michael Daugherity, Department of Physics
    • This mentor was nominated by his students for his enthusiasm and devotion to research and the students that he works with. His extraordinary teaching as well as his character inspires students to pursue their interests and passions. He is experienced in his field of study and relates information effectively and efficiently, helping to develop student interest in research. Dr. Daugherity has helped his students shape and form projects that have expanded their knowledge and intellect. One student said that this professor is someone that they admire and will never forget. 
  • Dr. Christopher Hutson, Department of Bible, Missions, & Ministry
    • This mentor was nominated by his students because he is an unwavering source of support and encouragement for his students’ research endeavors. His encouragement has given students the confidence to continue their projects with renewed motivation and persistence. He is excellent at communicating with his students through every stage of the research process and takes a personal interest in their work. One student said this professor has given him confidence to stay motivated throughout the research process because he has learned it can produce magnificent results. 
  • Dr. Anita Broxson, School of Nursing
    • This mentor was nominated by her students for her contagious passion and enthusiasm for research. She helps her students discover their own passion for research and encourages them to think critically and view things from different perspectives. She takes a personal interest in her students and helps them discover and develop their talents with patience and understanding. She inspires a spirit of integrity in everything as she encourages her student to seek Christ in every aspect of their work. Her role as a mentor goes far beyond her research projects. She cares not only about her students’ education but their mental and spiritual well being as well. 

Congratulations to these professors for their exemplary role as mentors!

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