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KNOXVILLE – The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, is hosting its first weeklong celebration of undergraduate research.

Research Week will take place March 21-26 and spotlight undergraduate researchers, scholars, artists and performers with a concert, an honors symposium, an art competition and a student paper competition.

Research Week March 21-26U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, a former governor and president of UT, will give the event’s keynote address “Research and the Public Good,” on Monday, March 22, at 8 a.m. inside the Howard H. Baker Center for Public Policy’s Toyota Auditorium. Richard Rodriguez, the author of “Hunger of Memory: The Education of Richard Rodriguez,” will keynote the honors symposium at 12:20 p.m. on March 22, also at the Baker Center.

Research Week is part of a larger initiative by the university to give undergraduate students opportunities to connect with faculty and be part of the university’s scholarship. This initiative is integral in achieving Gov. Phil Bredesen’s goal to make UT Knoxville a top 25 public research university. According to Greg Reed, associate vice chancellor for research, studies on undergraduate learning show the value of connecting students to faculty and their research as early as possible.

“Data have demonstrated that undergraduate students who are connected in this way are more likely to be retained by the university until graduation, graduate in less time, and increase their GPA as compared to students who do not have an undergraduate research experience,” Reed said.

Reed notes undergraduate research has a positive impact not just on the university community, but society as a whole.

“One of the significant advantages of these experiences is to help the students become intellectual entrepreneurs, the innovators of our economy and culture,” said Reed. “The future competiveness of our country depends on our ability to be the leading innovators.”

Research Week also will feature the 14th annual Exhibition of Undergraduate Research and Creative Achievement (EURēCA), where more than 200 undergraduate researchers will compete for the top spot in their fields. Their research and creative activities cover a wide range of concentrations and are developed in collaboration with a UT Knoxville faculty mentor. Participants are judged by a combination of UT Knoxville faculty members and community professionals.

The EURēCA competition will be held from noon to 4 p.m. March 24 in the University Center Ballroom. The event is open to the public from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on March 25. An awards ceremony will be held in the University Center’s Tennessee Auditorium at 6 p.m. on March 25.

The UT Knoxville Office of Research coordinates this unique competition to encourage, support and reward undergraduate participation in the campus research enterprise. Top awards are funded by the UT Chapter of Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Society and the William Franklin Harris III Undergraduate Research Award. On average, one award is given for every six entries per college. The standard award is $200 plus any division match or supplement.

For more information on the week’s events, please visit http://research.utk.edu/rw.

C O N T A C T :

Whitney Holmes (865-974-5460, wholmes7@utk.edu)

Bill Dockery (865-974-2187, dockeryb@utk.edu)