University of Delaware
The Ivory Nelson Center for the Sciences at The Lincoln University was the site of the Fourth Regional Undergraduate Student Research Conference.

'Vantage Points'

Fourth Regional Undergraduate Student Research Conference held at Lincoln


9:04 a.m., May 8, 2014--The Fourth Regional Undergraduate Student Research Conference highlighting research by undergraduate students primarily on the people of the African diaspora was recently held in the Ivory V. Nelson Science Center on the main campus of The Lincoln University in Pennsylvania.

The theme for this year’s conference was “Vantage Points: Where the Disciplines Meet.”

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The conference featured presentations by students from a consortium that includes the University of Delaware, Delaware State University and Lincoln. 

Lincoln’s Emmanuel Babatunde, professor of anthropology, and Robert Millette, professor of sociology, served as marshals for the event. 

Over 25 students presented their research in topics ranging from graduation and retention rates, disability studies, literature, forensic biology, global communication and electromagnetic science. 

Babatunde presented the keynote address on “Our Health and Our Future: A Multidisciplinary Approach.” 

Babatunde has been successful writing grants that seek to utilize strengths inherent in African and African diaspora cultures to solve social problems such as food insecurity and poverty reduction grants in Nigeria and Nicaragua. He is the Lincoln principal investigator in the 2011-15 U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) $25 million Global Center for Food Systems Innovation.

The conference ended with the presentation of awards for the best essay and poster presentations, and two UD students received recognition:

Arpita Mandal, a McNair Program student majoring in English education, received first place for her poster presentation on “Victims of ‘Honor Tradition.’”

Oluwatimilehin Adeyemo, a McNair Program student majoring in human services with a minor in public health, received second place for her poster presentation on “Understanding the Barriers to Care: A Review of Disability Services in Delaware.”

Other winners included Heaven Thomas and Christopher Gunter, both students at Delaware State, who placed first and third, respectively, in the essay presentation. Emmanuel Woodson of Lincoln placed second in the oral presentation. 

Honorable mentions were awarded to the following students for their essay presentations: Valerie Reason (Lincoln), Michael Hickey (Delaware State), Memunah Sillah (Lincoln), and Kayla McWilliams (Delaware State).

Each of the essay and poster participant winners received monetary awards. Certificates of achievement were given to all conference presenters.

The conference was generously supported by Lincoln’s College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, the Office of Student Affairs, and the Department of Sociology, and a portion of the monetary awards was provided by the College of Arts and Sciences at Delaware State.

Faculty members from Lincoln University, Delaware State and UD served as moderators, attendees, and judges. They include: A. Myrna Nurse, Andrew Blake, Victor Gomia and Jesse Zuba, all of Delaware State; Robert Millette, Zizwe Poe, Donald Bradt, Anthony DiFilippo, Jamal Benin and Evelyn Poe, all of Lincoln; and UD’s Yasser Payne, associate professor, and Carol Henderson, professor and chair of the Department of Black American Studies.

History of the conference

The collaborative consortium was formed by UD's Department of Black American Studies, under the leadership of chair Henderson and in support of Nurse and Blake of Delaware State.

The first research conference was held at UD in 2011 with the focus on “Black Identity in the Age of Obama.”

The 2012 regional symposium expanded to a two-day conference that was held at Delaware State in Dover. Blake and Nurse, both associate professors of English in the Department of English and Foreign Languages at Delaware State, served as marshals for this event. Lincoln joined the consortium and Babatunde was instrumental in bringing students to the conference. The theme for 2012 was “Social, Technological, and Scientific Advancements of the 21st Century.” Over 40 students presented their research over the two days.

In 2013, the third annual conference returned to UD and was held at Arsht Hall in Wilmington, Delaware, with the theme “Empowering Undergraduate Research: Producing Student Leaders in the Arts, Sciences, New Technologies, and Popular Culture.” Student presentations examined issues ranging from age discrimination in the workplace; the globalization of beauty ideals and images; the school-to-prison pipeline in the educational system; and the oppression of women in Islamic countries. 

The Fifth Regional Undergraduate Student Research Conference will be held at UD in 2015.

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