image of the full room of faculty, students and staff sitting at tables while the dean speaks to them from the front of the room

The College of Liberal Arts (CLA) at Temple University held its annual Liberal Arts Undergraduate Research Award (LAURA) Reception on April 10th, a celebration of academic excellence and innovation among undergraduate students and their faculty mentors. Deputy Dean Sandra Suarez serves as the Director of the LAURA program, and she is dedicated to its mission to provide students with hands-on research experience while supporting faculty-led research initiatives within the College. 

The LAURAs grant $2,000 each to undergraduate student-faculty member teams to conduct a research project over a semester. Each student earns a $15/hour stipend from the grant while spending 100 hours on the project, which enables students to dedicate their time to developing research skills without having to worry about their financial well-being. 

The reception was held at the Student Center and brought together students, faculty and distinguished guests to recognize outstanding achievements in research and academics. 

Richard Deeg, the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts kicked off the event, emphasizing the importance of undergraduate research in fostering critical thinking and intellectual curiosity among students.  

The keynote address was delivered by Gregory Mandel, Provost of Temple University. Provost Mandel underscored the vital role of undergraduate research in shaping future leaders and advancing knowledge across disciplines. His inspiring words set the tone for an evening dedicated to celebrating academic inquiry and achievement. 

Josh Gladden, Vice President for Research at Temple University, was the guest speaker at the reception. Gladden emphasized the importance of continuing to foster a culture of research excellence at Temple's undergraduate level and highlighted the university's commitment to supporting student-led research initiatives. 

Selected faculty-student teams presented their work and showcased the diversity and interdisciplinary nature of research topics undertaken within the College of Liberal Arts. Among the notable presentations were: 

  • "The Role of the Hippocampus in the Intensification of Drug Craving Using Animal Models of Substance Use" by Camryn Krumbhaar and Mathieu Wimmer from the Psychology and Neuroscience departments.
  • "The Double-Edged Sword: A Qualitative Examination of Parental Incarceration and Parental Immigration Detention" presented by Cass Tilley and Melissa Noel from the Criminal Justice department.
  • "An Examination of the Integration Experiences of Muslim Refugees in Traditional and Non-Traditional Immigrant Destinations" by Joao Goncalves and Amarat Zaatut, also from the Criminal Justice department.
  • "Bridging Disparate Approaches to the Study of Partisan Bias" by Binh Hoang and Matt Graham from the Political Science department. 

The afternoon commenced with Annette Bakley, Senior Vice Dean of Undergraduate Affairs, distributing the coveted LAURA awards. These awards recognize outstanding research projects conducted by undergraduate students in collaboration with their faculty mentors. Each recipient demonstrated exceptional dedication and scholarly rigor in their respective fields. 

The College of Liberal Arts is exceptionally proud of our students' accomplishments and grateful to their faculty mentors for their invaluable guidance and support. This celebration of the achievements of CLA's students and faculty reaffirms the College's commitment to excellence in undergraduate research. 

Please visit the College of Liberal Arts website for more information about the Liberal Arts Undergraduate Research Award (LAURA) program and upcoming events. 
Check out the photos from the event!