UNLV’s Second Annual Fall Undergraduate Research Showcase

“Research is you,” proclaimed Dr. Liam Frink, Executive Director at UNLV’s Office of Undergraduate Research. “What you’re doing today, will one day change the world.”

I asked senior anthropology major Samantha Slinkard what motivated her to power through the marathon 16-hour days, late-night research, and statistical formulas that would have given Archimedes fits. “I want to change the world.” Indeed, I believe she will.

I was particularly impressed by Patrick Messimer’s presentation on a prosthetic hand that the College of Engineering developed. The mere fact that “high-functioning robotic hands exist” let alone ones that were designed with “low cost and safe to use” criteria, made me excited for the future of robotics development and what that means for humans in need of prosthetics.

Service Learning Initiative for Community Engagement in Sociology (SLICES) presenters Alyssa Medina and Sarah Kane were also impressive. Lara Turello’s presentation on the source of fecal contaminants in the Las Vegas Valley’s urban watersheds was eye-opening, to the say the least.

UNLV is in hot pursuit of top-tier status, and I for one am thrilled with the professors and students leading the charge.


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