Summer ASURE Researchers Present their Work

Last week marked the conclusion of Guarini's Academic Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (ASURE) Program in partnership with The Leadership Alliance. ASURE provides summer research experience to undergraduates with an opportunity to focus on academic research, networking, and mentoring in their respective fields. This summer, the Guarini ASURE Program was led by PhD candidates, Jessica Tolbert and Gretel Torres, who mentored and guided students across multiple programs including molecular and cellular biology, cognitive neuroscience, and earth sciences.

Over the course of the six-week program, undergraduates from various schools across the country participated in research activities, presentations, and seminars. Tolbert and Torres were impressed with the breadth and scope of the research interests within the group, and were delighted that this year the group were afforded the opportunity to present their work at the annual Leadership Alliance National Symposium, hosted virtually via Zoom by Leadership Alliance alumni.

The closing weekend saw a full slate of culminating presentations put together by participating students, guest faculty, and staff. Opening speaker Dr. Medeva Ghee, Executive Director of the Leadership Alliance and Associate Professor of the Practice of Behavioral and Social Sciences at Brown University led a discussion toward innovative research findings by past students and former ASURE Program graduates, highlighting the impressive work students displayed in past years.

Throughout the weekend students from other institutions participating in the event, including Brown, Yale, Columbia, Harvard and more presented their research projects for 5-10 minutes by way of posters and/or slideshows.

Among the Guarini ASURE cohort, Jahnayah Bellot, Howard University, explored how different races are perceived at experiencing different emotions, and what causes such perceptions. Part of her research further investigated how and why Black men experience significantly lesser levels of joy and happiness and tend to be overall more negative than any other male ethnicity. Bellot's research concentrations as an undergraduate student deal with women's health, positive emotions, and well-being in her Psychology program at Howard.

Sungyoon Lim from Columbia University presented research on the topic of self-perception over time, specifically during the end of the year when it comes time for New Year's resolutions. She found that when it comes time for reflection and change at the end of the year, people tend to think more negatively of themselves and how to change those features.

And Amy Wu from the University of Florida conducted research on sonar ship radars that detect other movement and objects in the ocean. Her research dissected the details in sonar, in hopes that she can develop a technology that'll detect even more, in a more efficient manner.

As last year's Symposium was cancelled due to the pandemic, Tolbert stated that she was "grateful that the students were able to present their research. It was much needed, and they all did an excellent job providing great information."

The ASURE Program prepares students for a future in graduate research and is also open to non-Dartmouth students as well. Tolbert noted that several of this year's cohort have indicated they are keen to apply to graduate programs in the Guarini School. We wish all our ASURE cohort every success!