2015 URCAD 2015 | UMBC

The Nineteenth Annual Undergraduate Research and Creative Achievement Day

A Letter from the Dean

Dear Participants and Guests,
Welcome to UMBC’s 19th Annual Undergraduate Research and Creative Achievement Day (URCAD).
The poet Wallace Stevens writes about “Six Significant Landscapes” (Stevens, 1931). In the sixth landscape he suggests we let go of certainty, entertain multiple perspectives, and be open to new ways of thinking, seeing, and engaging with our world. The last stanza follows:
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Six Significant Landscapes:

Rationalists, wearing square hats,
Think, in square rooms,
Looking at the floor,
Looking at the ceiling.
They confine themselves
To right-angled triangles.
If they tried rhomboids,
Cones, waving lines, ellipses – –
As, for example, the ellipse of the half-moon – –
Rationalists would wear sombreros.

In Stephens’ verse, it is not sufficient to doubt or question. Rather, Stephens calls upon us to recapture the joy, the excitement, and the sheer delight of discovery. To do so, however, we must look at those things that are familiar as if we were seeing them for the first time and allow our emotions to be aroused by things we know, as well as by those things that remain mysterious.

Indeed, if Stevens were here today, I’m sure he would ask all of us to set ourselves free of any self-imposed limits and mind-numbing restrictions. He would remind us that it is okay to be disturbed, perplexed, confused, and amazed because it is often in these moments that we dream, we embrace curiosity, and give reign to our imagination.

So today, we encourage you to enjoy listening and learning about the discoveries, projects, and places that captured our students’ attention, curiosity, and sense of wonder. See where their trials with rhomboids, cones, waving lines, and ellipses took them. Playfully and willingly wear a sombrero and celebrate the habits of mind that encouraged our students’ outstanding achievements. I am confident you will be stimulated, impressed, and to some degree awed by the complexity of thought and elegant findings presented. The origins of future intellectual triumphs will be seeded in the work our students are sharing today.

Again, welcome to URCAD, enjoy this special day.

Most sincerely,
Diane M. Lee
Vice Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Education
Division of Undergraduate Academic Affairs
Stevens, Wallace. [1931]. Harmonium. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, p. 98.
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About our Alumni Speaker:
Trevor J. Blank ’05 american studies

Dr. Blank is an assistant professor of communication at the State University of New York at Potsdam, where he teaches courses in folklore, mass media, and digital culture and researches subversive humor in the vernacular response to traumatic and shocking news events. He earned his Master’s degree from Indiana University’s Folklore Institute in 2007 and his Ph.D. in American Studies at the Pennsylvania State University, Harrisburg in 2011.
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Trevor Blank

Dr. Blank is the author of more than thirty-five research articles, chapters, encyclopedia entries, and reviews, in addition to editing or authoring seven books, including The Last Laugh: Folk Humor, Celebrity Culture, and Mass-Mediated Disasters in the Digital Age (University of Wisconsin Press, 2013); Maryland Legends: Folklore from the Old Line State (History Press, 2014); and Folklore and the Internet: Vernacular Expression in a Digital World (Utah State University Press, 2009). Currently, he serves as editor to the peer-reviewed journal Children’s Folklore Review.

Dr. Blank came to UMBC in fall 2003 as a transfer student from Montgomery College. Before graduating in spring 2005, he conducted extensive undergraduate research on the folklore, history, and architecture of the Hillcrest Building, an original UMBC building torn down in 2007. The building—the first of its kind—had previously served as Spring Grove Hospital Center’s facility for the containment and rehabilitation of criminally insane patients from 1922-1965. His research on the Hillcrest Building and Spring Grove formed the foundation of his Master’s project and portions of the co-authored publication Spring Grove State Hospital (Arcadia, 2008).
Follow Dr. Blank on Twitter @trevorjblank.

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URCAD 2015

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How was URCAD 2015? Please share feedback on your experience. We make changed to the event every year, based on attendee input. Tell us how we can make make URCAD even better.

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Program of the day

  • 9:30 - 10:00 a.m. | UC 312
    • Welcome
    • Lasse Lindahl
      Program Director
      MARC U∗STAR and Professor
      Department of Biological Sciences

    • Philip Rous

  • 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. | UC Ballroom
    • Poster Presentation Session I

  • 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. | UC 310
    • Oral Presentations

  • 10:15 a.m. - 11:45 p.m. | UC 312
    • Oral Presentations

  • 10:00 - 11:45 a.m. | ENG 023
    • Video and Oral Presentations

  • 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. | PAHB 337
    • Original Choreography
  • 12:00 - 1:00 p.m. | UC 312
    • General Session
      Diane Lee
      Vice Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Education

    • Trevor Blank ’05 American Studies

    • Freeman A. Hrabowski, III

    • Introduction of the 2015-2016 URA Scholars and Mentors
      Vin Grabill
      Associate Professor, Visual Arts and
      URA Committee Chair

  • 12:00 - 2:00 p.m. | UC Ballroom
    • Poster Presentation Session II

  • 12:00 - 2:00 p.m. | UC Lobby
    • Infrared Photography Exhibit

  • 1:00 - 4:15 p.m. | UC 310
    • Oral Presentations

  • 1:15 - 4:00 p.m. | UC 312
    • Oral Presentations

  • 1:15 - 4:15 p.m. | ENG 023
    • Video and Oral Presentations

  • 2:00 - 4:00 p.m. | UC Ballroom
    • Poster Presentation Session III

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Event View - Event View (Detailed)


Departments Icon

Would you like to find all the undergraduate researchers from your or any given department? Wait no longer! We have an alphbetical listing by deparment for easy access. Get the most out of URCAD and learn about the research your department is producing.


Presenters Icon

Looking for an URCAD presenter? Find a complete alphabetical listing of all URCAD participants with schedule and location information. See what our undergraduate researchers are discovering today - innovation is here!

Selfie Challenge

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Share your URCAD experience with your fellow classmates. Take a "Selfie" of yourself and a participant (that is if you aren't a participant already) with a descriptive text of your experience and upload it to Twitter using #URCAD. Say cheese!
Images must be uploaded by (5:00 p.m.) 4/22/2015.

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The Screening Room

Videos will be updated as soon as they are submitted.

Nerds Rule, Jocks Drool
by Angelo Skarlatos, Scott Seiss, Hannah Kelly, Zachary Garmoe,
Jason Klimek, Parker Damm, Ramon Burris, Andrew Kelly

Future Children
by Emily Eaglin

by Matthew Myslinski

Close to the Sun
By Anna Vikhlyayeva

Christopher Hogue

A Moment of URCAD
by Michael Mower '12


The majority of the presentaions will be held in the University Center (UC); the poster presentations will be held in the UC Ballroom and the oral presentations will be held in either UC 310, UC 312 or the UC Lobby. The Dance and Theatre presentaions will be held in the Performing Arts and Humanities Building (PAHB) building in room 337. Screenings for the Film and Animation presentations will be held in Engineering Building (Eng) room 023. Please review the mobile guide for exact times and locations.

Eng 023

PAHB 337

UC 310

UC 312

UC Ballroom

UC Lobby

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It takes a lot to put on URCAD and we would like to thank a few people who make this event possible...