The Spring Undergraduate Research Forum, affectionately referred to as “SURF,” was held Tuesday at Elon University, and despite the dreary weather, students and faculty turned out in droves to see their peers' work. 

SURF is an annual event that offers students and faculty the opportunity to present their research to the Elon community. This year, SURF included 219 presentations by 247 undergraduate students, according to Elon’s website. 

Kathy Matera, a chemistry professor and director of Health Profession Advising, mentored a number of students who presented research during SURF. 

“I think SURF day is really valuable day for students, in particular the freshman and sophomores, to see what’s happening in terms of research,” Matera said. “Research is such an important component of what we do at Elon.”

Topics presented at the 2017 SURF day ranged from “Injured Student-Athletes' Perception of Social Support” to “The Anime and Manga Apocalypse: End of the World Narratives in
Japanese Popular Media” to “The Effect of E-Cigarettes on Zebrafish Behavior.” 

“For the students who are presenting, it’s a great opportunity for them to get in front of their peers and show what they’ve been doing outside of the classroom,” Matera said. “I also think for the younger students to be able to watch these presentations and see what they could be doing as juniors and seniors, it sort of opens up their eyes.”

Presentations include oral exhibitions and posters. A full list of participants and topics can be found here

Junior Erica Braschi, a biochemistry major and one of Matera’s mentees, delivered an oral presentation, “The Effect of Lactoperoxidase on DNA Mutations in the Presence of Estradiol.” 

Braschi said she attended SURF day presentations as a freshman, which inspired her to pursue a research project.

“I love SURF because it gave me the opportunity to do that and to present my research to other students, especially younger students who may be doing that in the future as well,” Braschi said.

“I recommend students come to SURF day … because there’s so much to learn and to expand their horizons — maybe visit some other talks that aren’t related to what they’re studying, just so they can learn something and see what other students are doing to answer important questions in the world.”

SURF is a part of CELEBRATE!, which is an annual, weeklong celebration of students’ achievements in academics and the arts. A full list of CELEBRATE! events can be found here


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