As institutions committed to academic excellence, the University of Michigan-Flint, the University of Michigan-Dearborn and Oakland University fully recognize the critical role research plays in the education our students receive. Undergraduate students who participate in research and creative activities develop skills and qualities necessary to compete in an ever-changing, fast-moving world. We pride ourselves in offering learning environments where our students have an opportunity to grow as scholars, innovators, explosive thinkers, and leaders.
This year, over three hundred students, faculty, staff, and guests gathered on the campus of the University of Michigan-Flint to celebrate the 18th annual Meeting of Minds Undergraduate Research Conference. We were very privileged to host 170 oral and poster presentations; all professionally conducted by students working in direct partnership with members of each of our institution’s faculty. The intellectual findings shared by our students were put on display for hundreds of people to observe.
Many of the students who presented at the event demonstrated further commitment to excellence and scholarship by submitting manuscripts from their projects. Gathered within the pages of this journal are forty-four high quality examples of the hard work of some of our student participants. As you will discover in reading this journal, the manuscripts cover a broad range of topical areas; showcasing our dedication to the interdisciplinary pursuit of knowledge. From biology to sociology, from art to business, our students offer significant contributions to research; contributions shared by us all. It is in this collection of knowledge that the future of our state, our nation, and indeed in our entire civilization rests. In that spirit, I would like to offer my thanks and congratulations to all of the student authors and faculty who have devoted the time and effort required for this type of work. These manuscripts are a product of your diligence.
I would like to express my appreciation to the executive officers at each institution for the many ways in which you contribute to the success of the event and to undergraduate research in general. Additionally, I would like to thank all the people directly responsible for the ongoing success of the Meeting of Minds Undergraduate Research Conference. My colleagues at Oakland University (Laura Schovan and Robbie Stewart) and the University of Michigan-Dearborn (Sue Gedert and Jennifer Zhao) are to be commended for faithfully serving on the planning committee and for offering their continued support. Additional thanks go out to the faculty who offered comments, evaluation, and editing for the papers selected for this publication. Finally, we acknowledge the hundreds of students and faculty at our respective campuses who engage in outstanding research and activities. The wide assortment of exciting, innovative, and quality research you offer leaves an indelible mark on the academic community, and the world as a whole.
Thank you all for helping us to sustain a rich legacy of research and scholarship!
Andre Louis, Process Manager
University of Michigan-Flint
Office of Research