Record number of students to participate in annual research conference

Trevecca students participating in the NCUR and their faculty sponsors

2019 marks the fourth consecutive year Trevecca students will be participating in the National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR).

The conference allows undergraduate students from across the country to present research in their academic field of study.

In 2016, Jessy Ann Walters Scott (’16) became the first Trevecca student to participate in the national conference. This year, Trevecca is sending 17 students to showcase their research at the annual conference taking place at Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, Ga. The conference is scheduled for April 10-13.

The students selected for this year’s conference come from a range of academic disciplines including history, communication studies, music and mathematics.

Trevecca undergraduate students presenting this year are Katelyn Aldridge, Katerine Avila-Pastor, Cheyenne Caruthers, Bill Clark, John Coolidge, Soma Ezzadpanah, Jesse Fair, Torri Frye, Dylan Green, Garrison Gunter, Charles Layne, Christian Mack, Marian Malek, Sarah Murray, Matthew Parris, Lailuma Sayed and Marina Yousef.

Dr. Sam Green, Trevecca’s director of undergraduate research, attributes intentionality and emphasis from professors on student research as a driving force in the increase of student participation.

“A greater intentionality regarding research has a positive effect on our students,” Green added. “The faculty are our champions when it comes to our initiatives, and once students become inspired, they become unstoppable.”

John Coolidge, a senior communications major and participant in this year’s NCUR, agrees with Green about the impact Trevecca’s emphasis on undergraduate research has on students.

“Trevecca makes research a priority by providing the instruction and opportunity to conduct research while completing your undergraduate degree,” he said. “This is not only a chance to provide insight to others in your field but also a great way to stand out when applying to graduate schools.”

Murray, Mack and Yousef will each be presenting two research projects in their fields of study.

Yousef, a sophomore history major, is presenting research on the women's anti-suffrage movement and women in ministry during the early years of the church.

As a sophomore, Yousef is not required to participate in undergraduate research for a class but says that a desire to push herself academically coupled with a passion for women’s history led her to take on the challenge.

“I’m really curious about women’s history in academic settings, and this is a good outlet to do this,” Yousef said. “Having people who know more on these topics that give me some feedback is a great tool to use during my college career. I want to continue to push myself as much as I can because just doing a paper is not enough.”

Yousef and Murray’s faculty sponsor, Dr. Erica Hayden, assistant professor of history, attended the NCUR as an undergraduate student and understands the importance of participating in academic research.

“I’m looking forward to seeing [our students] present their research at NCUR because that is a great experience for students to give professional presentations to a wide audience,” Hayden said.

By Blake Stewart, ’18
Media contact: Mandy Crow,, 615-248-1695