(Posted April 11, 2013)

This week, Juniata College senior, Elyse Williams, from Allentown, Pa., will be traveling to the University of Wisconsin to take part in the 27th National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR). There she will present her senior thesis, and have the opportunity to view the research of other undergraduate students. Elyse shares how she came to participate in the conference, and her expectations.

Q: Can you briefly describe the event at which you will be presenting your thesis?

A: I'm presenting my thesis at an event called NCUR, the National Conference on Undergraduate Research. It's held every year in a different state Undergraduate students submit the abstract of their theses, and only a couple hundred or so are chosen. It's for four days, and you are paired off into groups and you present for 15 minutes in a room with a group of five. It's mostly meant to expose the academic community to your research.

Q: What is the focus of your thesis?

A: My thesis is about the concept of the male gaze in art, which is basically saying that every depiction of women is there to be ogled at by men, and how women, through their art, are subverting this. So basically, it's about feminist art.

Q: What do you think are the benefits of participating in such an event?

A: It looks good on a resume. I also think it's exciting to see what other people are doing and how other universities emphasize undergraduate research. You can kind of see what level you're on with other people, and I think it will prepare me for more formal presentations in the future.

Q: How did you learn and apply to participate in this event?

A: I learned about it through my thesis advisor, Karen Rosell, who recommended that I apply for the event. I thought I might as well try since it seemed like a really good opportunity and applied online.

Q: What are you looking forward to the most about this opportunity?

A: I'm looking forward to getting feedback from people who are familiar with art history and the concept of my thesis, and seeing if I can explain it in a way that makes sense to them. I'm also interested in being able to reach a broader audience, and seeing what other people are doing with their research.

-Melissa Famularo '13, Juniata Online Journalist

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Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.