The Center for Undergraduate Research and Scholarship (CURS) supports faculty-led research and scholarly activity with undergraduates at Augusta University in a variety of ways including: faculty and student development activities; sponsoring the monthly student research brown bag seminars; assessing the impact of student research on campus; and offering student research grants.

CURS defines undergraduate research as "an educational experience in which a student, in collaboration with a faculty mentor, strives to answer an open-ended question within the discipline and/or make a creative contribution to the discipline." Research can be done in a laboratory, in the field, in the library or in an art studio. CURS is interested in cultivating the creative activity of students from all academic disciplines.

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Recent Submissions

  • CURS Connection May/June 2020

    Center for Undergraduate Research and Scholarship; Davis, Quentin; Knapp, Melissa; Center for Undergraduate Research and Scholarship (Augusta University, 2020-06)
    Table of Contents: Happy Birthday SSP!: CURS Summer Scholars Program Turns 10CURS: A Year in Pictures, Reflections by Undergraduate Researchers, Get Involved (Arsenal Undergraduate Research Journal, Seeking CURS Ambassadors, Undergrad Research Advising, and Faculty: Take your UR Mentorship in New Directions)
  • CURS Connection April 2020

    Center for Undergraduate Research and Scholarship; Davis, Quentin; Knapp, Melissa; Center for Undergraduate Research and Scholarship (Augusta University, 2020-04)
    Table of Contents: Congratulations to Dr. Sabbatini, Biological Sciences: 2020 CURS Mentor Excellence Award, Congratulations Summer Scholars Program Awardees!, Research Week Recap, Get Involved (Arsenal Undergraduate Research Journal and Undergrad Research Advising)
  • CURS Connection March 2020

    Center for Undergraduate Research and Scholarship; Davis, Quentin; Knapp, Melissa; Center for Undergraduate Research and Scholarship (Augusta University, 2020-03)
    Table of Contents: We're Still Here!, Congratulations Spring Grant Awardees!, Ayala Presents to Georgia Legislators, Take Note (Phi Kappa Phi (would have been) Presenters, Call for Nominations: Mentor Excellence Award), Get Involved (Summer Research Opportunities through NSF and Undergrad Research Advising)
  • CURS Connection February 2020

    Center for Undergraduate Research and Scholarship; Davis, Quentin; Knapp, Melissa; Center for Undergraduate Research and Scholarship (Augusta University, 2020-02)
    Table of Contents: Student Researcher Spotlight: Vinaya Alapatt, B.S., Meet the CURS Ambassadors, Upcoming Events, Student Resources (Upcoming Workshop: Oral and Poster Presentation Workshop, Undergrads: Publish Your Work!, Phi Kappa Phi Student Research and Fine Arts Conference, Summer Research Opportunities through NSF, Follow Us on Social Media, CURS Advising)
  • CURS Connection January 2020

    Center for Undergraduate Research and Scholarship; Davis, Quentin; Knapp, Melissa; Center for Undergraduate Research and Scholarship (Augusta University, 2020-01)
    Table of Contents: Congratulations Dr. Brandon Cromer and Dr. Laurence Miller!, Student Research Series: Rachel Hammesfahr, Senior, Biology major and Ananya Chakraborty, Senior, Cell and Molecular Biology Major, Upcoming Events, Faculty Resources (Call for Proposals and Research and Travel Grants), Student Resources (Apply to be a CURS 2020 Summer Scholar and Phi Kappa Phi Student Research and Fine Arts Conference), Summer Research Opportunities through NSF, Advising, Announcements (Follow on social media, chemical and lab safety training, The Arsenal is seeking submissions)
  • CURS Connection November/December 2019

    Center for Undergraduate Research and Scholarship; Davis, Quentin; Knapp, Melissa; Center for Undergraduate Research and Scholarship (Augusta University, 2019-12)
    Table of Contents: Undergraduate Research Fair a Success, Student Research Series: Kyle Cartledge and Farron Aaronson, Mathematics and Isabella Santana, Cell and Molecular Biology, Georgia Undergraduate Research Conference (GURC), Faculty Resources (Faculty Information Sessions and Call for Summer Scholar Proposals), Student Resources (Vascular Biology Center Tour and High Five My Faculty: CURS Offering New Mentoring Award), Mark Your Calendars!, The 21st Annual Phi Kappa Phi Student Research & Fine Arts Conference.
  • CURS Connection October 2019

    Center for Undergraduate Research and Scholarship; Davis, Quentin; Knapp, Melissa; Center for Undergraduate Research and Scholarship (Augusta University, 2019-10)
    Table of Contents: First Annual Undergraduate Research Fair, #Research News (Calling All Student Researchers and Chemical Safety Partners with CURS: Chemical and Lab Safety Training Comes to Summerville), Student Research Series: Nitish Sood and Anish Sangari, Cell and Molecular Biology, Leslie Duncan, Cell and Molecular Biology, Upcoming Events, Next Steps in Research Workshop, #ResearchNews (Calling Faculty Mentors, Art and Design Meet and Greet, and High Five My Faculty: CURS Offers a New Mentoring Award)
  • CURS Connection September 2019

    Center for Undergraduate Research and Scholarship; Davis, Quentin; Knapp, Melissa; Center for Undergraduate Research and Scholarship (Augusta University, 2019-09)
    Table of Contents: Communications Student Involved in Multiple Scholarly Projects, High Five My Faculty: CURS Offers a New Mentoring Award, Student Research Series (Justin Brown, English major, Reeya Patel and Chandani Patel, Cell/Molecular Biology), Upcoming Events, #ResearchNews (Last Chance for 2019 GA Undergraduate Research Conference and Calling Faculty Mentors), #InTheKnow (Still Accepting Ambassadors! and Save the Date).
  • CURS Connection August 2019

    Center for Undergraduate Research and Scholarship; Davis, Quentin; Knapp, Melissa; Center for Undergraduate Research and Scholarship (Augusta University, 2019-08)
    Table of Contents: Summer Scholars Symposium, Changes Coming in CURS Grant Opportunities, Student Research Series (Sabrina Nacci, English major, kicked off the Student Research Series (formerly known as Brown Bag), Upcoming Events, #ResearchNews (Call for Abstracts and CURS Ice Cream Social), Call for Nominations: CURS Ambassadors
  • CURS Connection June/July 2019

    Center for Undergraduate Research and Scholarship; Davis, Quentin; Knapp, Melissa; Center for Undergraduate Research and Scholarship (Augusta University, 2019-07)
    Table of Contents: Summer Scholars Program Off to a Great Start, Fall Deadlines for Mini Grants, CURS in the Community, CURS Welcomes First Official Student Ambassador, Get Involved! (Undergraduate Research Portal (UROP) Helps Match Mentors and Students and HOW I INVESTIGATE: What does YOUR research time look like? Share it!).
  • CURS Connection May 2019

    Center for Undergraduate Research and Scholarship; Davis, Quentin; Knapp, Melissa; Center for Undergraduate Research and Scholarship (Augusta University, 2019-05)
    Table of Contents: Ziembrowski Receives 2019 Mentor Excellence Award, University Scholars Program Students Present to SRNL Scientists, Summer Scholars Program Gets Underway, Undergrads Get a Closer Look at Cancer Research,
  • CURS Connection April 2019

    Center for Undergraduate Research and Scholarship; Davis, Quentin; Knapp, Melissa; Center for Undergraduate Research and Scholarship (Augusta University, 2019-04)
    Table of Contents: AU Students Present Research to GA Legislators, Student Research Seminar: Deanna Doughty (Cellular & Molecular Biology major) and Michaela Mack (Mathematics major), Upcoming Events, #ResearchNews (Researcher Speaks with Undergraduates and Kinesiology Research Day), Congratulations!: CURS is pleased to announce our 2019 Summer Scholar students and faculty mentors!, Call for Nominations: CURS Ambassadors.
  • CURS Connection March 2019

    Center for Undergraduate Research and Scholarship; Davis, Quentin; Knapp, Melissa; Center for Undergraduate Research and Scholarship (Augusta University, 2019-03)
    Table of Contents: Research Week is MARCH 11-15!, Mentor Highlights (Featured Mentor: Dr. Eric Numfor, Congratulations! Spring Grant Awards, Call for Nominations Mentor Excellence Award & CURS Ambassadors, Seeking CURS Ambassadors!), #ResearchNews (Chemical and Lab Safety Training (Health Sciences Campus), #JAGSWAG Stop by and grab a button!, 20th Annual Phi Kappa Phi Student Research and Fine Arts Conference)
  • CURS Connection February 2019

    Center for Undergraduate Research and Scholarship; Davis, Quentin; Knapp, Melissa; Center for Undergraduate Research and Scholarship (Augusta University, 2019-02)
    Table of Contents: Message from the Director, Happenings at CURS (Arsenal: The Undergraduate Research Journal of Augusta University, Student Spotlight: Simran Mehrotra), What We Do: Undergraduate Research Opportunities Portal (UROP), Save the Date, This Month's Upcoming Events.
  • CURS Connection November 2018

    Center for Undergraduate Research and Scholarship; Davis, Quentin; Knapp, Melissa; Center for Undergraduate Research and Scholarship (Augusta University, 2018-11-26)
    Table of Contents: Don't miss the CURS Meet and Greet, Welcome Dr. Davis!! Check out our new Director of CURS, Chemical and Lab Safety Training, Opportunities to Present (33rd Annual NCUR, 8th Annual Lighting the Dream of Medicine Conference, Student Research Seminars)
  • An Examination of HPV Vaccine Administration in Georgia

    Denson, Samantha; Holleran, Ericka; Gaffney, Jasmine; Department of Psychological Sciences (2016-09-16)
    HPV is the leading STI in the US and Georgia (CDC, 2016). HPV is the necessary precursor for cervical cancer, other cancers and genital warts (CDC, 2016). Georgia is unique in that it tracks statewide vaccination rates by provider. This data is entered into the Georgia Registry of Immunization Transactions and Services (GRITS). Our goal was to use these data to examine: 1) How do HPV vaccination trends compare to other childhood vaccines? and 2) Are there gender differences in HPV vaccine uptake? Data was extracted from the GRITS database for all Georgia children aged 9-14 who received vaccines between 2009-2014. GRITS data variables were coded and descriptive analyses were conducted to examine vaccine uptake. Specifically, we examined the vaccines: HPV, pertussis, measles, mumps, rubella, and meningococcal. We also examined HPV vaccination rates by gender. Results: There was a total of 2,457,005 entries into GRITS during 2009-2014. Vaccination rates increased for HPV, meningococcal, and pertussis, but remained relatively low for rubella, mumps, and measles. Although HPV vaccine uptake started low, it had the highest uptake frequency from 2012-2014. In comparison to males, HPV vaccine uptake was higher for females across all years. However, HPV vaccine uptake for males increased more significantly than for females. The rates of childhood vaccine uptake in Georgia were relatively low for rubella, mumps, and measles. Females received the HPV4 vaccine more frequently than males. Learning more about vaccination patterns and provider recommendations will provide the necessary framework for improving HPV vaccine uptake.
  • Perfluorooctanoic acid reduces viability and gene expression of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha and estrogen receptor alpha in MCF-7 cells

    Smith, April; College of Science and Mathematics (2015-10-09)
    Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) is an endocrine disrupting compound found in food, water, clothes, and other consumer products. It is known to accumulate in the environment and can be taken up through ingestion, inhalation, or skin contact. It has a half-life of nearly four years in humans. PFOA has been shown to bind and activate peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs), which are transcription factors found in mammalian cells. PPARs regulate numerous cellular activities, including proliferation and differentiation. Several studies have suggested crosstalk between PPARs and estrogen receptors (ERs). This study aimed to examine the effects of PFOA on cell viability and on PPAR and ER gene expression in MCF-7 breast cancer cells. The results showed a decline in cell viability after 48h of PFOA treatment. In addition, 24h of treatment with PFOA led to a significant decrease in PPARα and ERα, but not PPARβ, PPARγ, or ERβ. Begin Time: 28:30 End Time: 50:40
  • Cloning, Over-expression and Purification of Nanoluc

    DuPlain, Holly; Parks, Jasmine; Blocker, Brittany; College of Science and Mathematics; Spencer, Angie (2015-11-13)
    Bioluminescence is a natural phenomenon that occurs in bacteria, insects, fungi and some marine species whereby a living organism emits light via a chemical reaction catalyzed by enzymes called luciferases. Luciferases are utilized in various applications including Bioluminescence Resonance Energy Transfer (BRET). BRET uses a luciferase (energy donor) to transfer energy to a fluorescent protein or dye (energy acceptor). If the donor and acceptor are close together and their emission and absorbance spectra overlap, the acceptor absorbs the energy from the donor and light is emitted at a longer wavelength. This spectral shift is measured. One such luciferase is Nanoluc (Nluc), a genetically engineered enzyme from the deep sea shrimp Oplophorus gracilirostris. To explore the use of Nluc as a BRET energy donor, the Nluc gene was cloned into the plasmid vector pET21c(+). Recombinant DNA formation was verified by agarose gel electrophoresis. After transformation of the recombinant plasmid into E. coli BL21 cells, C-terminal His6 tagged Nluc protein was over-expressed and purified using affinity chromatography. Purification yielded a relatively pure protein with a molecular weight of 19 kDa as judged by SDS-PAGE. Protein activity was assessed by measuring its ability to generate light in the presence of the substrate coelenterazine. Begin Time: 08:25 End Time: 31:16
  • Comparative Study of Aggression in Captive Western Lowland Gorillas with Their Wild Counterparts

    Dixon, Megan K.; Katherine Reese Pamplin College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences; Trunzo, Jennifer (2015-11-13)
    Observational research on captive populations of Western Lowland Gorillas has been used to identify and understand the social patterns of captive, as well as wild, gorilla groups. My research focuses on identifying aggressive and competitive behaviors such as biting, slapping, threatening, pushing, etc. in the Western Lowland Gorilla population at Zoo Atlanta. This research is in its preliminary stages, focusing on the existing literature and studies of both wild and captive gorillas used to gain insight into the social dynamic of primates. The literature reviewed for my research focuses on the impact of aggressive behaviors on a gorilla family group, the situation the target behavior occurred in, and the types of responsive behaviors elicited from the initial aggression. Begin Time: 31:17 End Time: 59:58
  • Environmental Aesthetics, Ethics, and the Land-Community: An Ecocritical Reading of Flannery O’Connor’s “A View of the Woods”

    Atkins, Hunter; Katherine Reese Pamplin College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences; Armstrong, Rhonda (2015-09-25)
    The human impact on the environment is more relevant than ever, but comparatively little attention is given to the way cultural media such as literature, film, and art have shaped our ideas about how we interact with the land and its inhabitants. Ecocriticism is literary theory that examines representations of the environment in order to better understand our attitudes toward the natural world. This presentation is an ecocritical analysis of the 1957 short story “A View of the Woods” by southern female author Flannery O’Connor. In “A View of the Woods,” O’Connor portrays a tension between the agrarian landscape and the changes brought about by economic progress and urbanization. Published in 1957, this story predates a great deal of American cultural media that would later address this same tension. O’Connor’s agrarian orientation gives her a uniquely advanced perspective for her time, and in this presentation, I examine the ways in which O’Connor’s narrative presages those later environmental theories and attitudes popularized by writers including Rachel Carson and Allen Carlson. In doing so, I argue that careful analysis of a literary narrative can help lead us to clearer understandings and articulations of our environmental values and attitudes. Begin Time: 07:35 End Time: 34:05

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