Georgia College sends six student researchers to ‘Posters at the Capitol’ exhibit

Georgia College sends six student researchers to ‘Posters at the Capitol’ exhibit

A GC research poster from 2020.
A GC research poster from 2020.
S ix Georgia College undergraduate students will present research at the 3rd Annual “Posters at the Capitol” this week. That’s the highest participation in the University State System and second highest of any participating school.

Normally held at the Statehouse in Atlanta, this year’s event will be online with Georgia legislators and lobbyists in attendance. All university presidents and provosts in Georgia have been invited, as well.

Posters at the Capitol was founded by Georgia College in 2018 as a way to share emerging research with state legislators. Now run by the Georgia Undergraduate Research Collective (GURC), the exhibition is modeled after “Posters on the Hill” in Washington D.C., which is hosted by the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR).

The fact that we had so many students accepted to a conference with such limited capacity is a sign of the quality of undergraduate research at Georgia College.
– Dr. Jordan Cofer
Posters at the Capitol is highly competitive with only 25 applications accepted from Abraham-Baldwin Agricultural College, Georgia College, Georgia Gwinnett College, Georgia Southern University, Kennesaw State University, Mercer University, Savannah State University and Valdosta State University.

Each proposal goes through a strict, double-blind review process prior to final review involving a state representative.

“The fact that we had so many students accepted to a conference with such limited capacity is a sign of the quality of undergraduate research at Georgia College,” said Dr. Jordan Cofer, associate provost for Transformative Learning Experiences.

Senior physics major Catherine Boyd explains her research at last year's exhibit.
Senior physics major Catherine Boyd explains her research at last year's exhibit.

Forty percent of students participate in undergraduate research at Georgia College. Recently, the university launched a national journal on undergraduate research and was recognized nationally by CUR for its accomplishments in this area.

Georgia College students will present work this year in physics, chemistry and music therapy. Participants are physics major Catherine Boyd of Columbus, chemistry major Allison Spent of Johns Creek and music therapy majors Avery Garrett of Martinez, Abby Hearn of Loganville, Sidney Johnson of Douglasville and Renata Kuswanto of Indonesia.

Kuswanto, a junior, used observation, assessment and music interventions to improve a client’s verbal articulation.

Spent, a senior, studied the interaction of metals and molecules with an enzyme called “Topoisomerase Ila.” She’s excited about chemical education and showing others how all areas of chemistry can be represented in one project.

I am really excited about presenting before legislators, because I think that I can help represent other STEM students in broadcasting the idea of how important undergraduate research is in developing essential skills for the future.
– Allison Spent