Graduate Research Forum recap

Graduate Research Forum Collage

Clockwise from top left: Panel presenters interact with the audience; Filip-Bogdan Serban-Dragan presents at the 3MT finals; Kyu Matsuzawa discusses his poster with judge Ellen Herman. 

The Ford Alumni Center was abuzz on Wednesday for the Division of Graduate Studies’ annual Graduate Research Forum. More than 125 students from 46 disciplines participated in the Forum which showcases the research of graduate students from around campus.

Attendees learned about breakthroughs in social, environmental and human sciences from UO’s leading graduate scholars. Ideas were communicated in three formats: panel presentations, poster presentations and 3-Minute Thesis presentations.

Giang Phung’s poster imagined a reality where climate refugees seek shelter on shores of places like the Oregon Coast. A second-year master’s student in Architecture, Giang illustrated in her poster the design for modular tensile structures that are made out of bamboo and can be quickly erected at State Parks to temporarily house refugees. 

During the 3MT finals, Carla Consolini, a PhD candidate in Linguistics, discussed how virtual reality can help people learn new languages. Her research predicts that students who complete language practice in immersive virtual scenes retain more new words than students in traditional online classes. 

Kyu Matsuzawa, a third-year PhD student in Economics, created a poster comparing rates of drunk driving for states that use DUI checkpoints versus those that do not. His research shows a deterrent effect in states that use checkpoints. However, he described challenges related to the siting of checkpoint locations and encroachment of civil liberties that complicate policy decisions. 

Austin Ricci, a fourth-year student in Human Physiology used his 3MT presentation to describe his research around muscle function and fatigue. Using muscle biopsies, Ricci is working to identify proteins that can be used to improve resistance to fatigue and improve quality of life. 

Ellyse Scott, a second-year master’s student in Interior Architecture, presented a poster outlining actions to increase the equitable distribution of resources within communities. Her research focuses on how architects, planners and government officials influence the way resources are distributed. She emphasized the urgent need to include BIPOC communities in public policy and planning conversations. 

Filip-Bogdan Serban-Dragan opened his 3MT with an anecdote about the panic he felt losing track of his mother in a crowd when he was younger. The memory served as a springboard into his current research about how chronic separation anxiety negatively impacts school achievement in first graders. 

The variety of topics represented reflects the significant depth of research happening across the University. Those who were unable to attend in person are encouraged to view digital copies of posters online here:

Winners for all categories will be announced later this week.

By Claire Shanley, Division of Graduate Studies