UHV to showcase undergraduate research projects

The University of Houston-Victoria University College is preparing to host its first Undergraduate Research Showcase featuring presentations by university students about biology, criminal justice, the humanities and more.

Beverly Tomek

A group of nine undergraduate students will participate in panel and poster presentations of their research projects from noon to 6 p.m. Friday in Rooms 203, 215 and 216 of UHV University West, 3007 N. Ben Wilson St. The showcase is free and open to the public.

“When UHV developed University College, the initial plan included an undergraduate research initiative,” said Beverly Tomek, UHV associate provost and dean of University College. “This showcase is an opportunity for all undergraduate students, regardless of major, to show off their research skills.”

The students and presentations included in this year’s showcase are:

  • Rusty Acuna – “Guizot’s Surviving Principles in Modern America”
  • Noemi Bustamante – “Hunting for Cell Cycle Genes in Rotifers”
  • Cassie Cameron – “Raise the Age and Second Look Legislation: An Argument Against Liberal Policies Instead of System Reorganization” and “Victoria County Sheriffs: The Crossroads and Human Trafficking Victims”
  • Jacquelyn Clendening – “Public Policy and the Legalization of Marijuana”
  • Elizabeth Cuyler – “Finding the Nearest Coast Guard Station using the Law of Sines”
  • Michael Gross – “Implicit Association Test (IAT) and Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats and Associated Proteins (CRISPR/Cas): An Empirical Approach to the Ethics of Engineering Homo sapiens
  • Ismael Gutierres – “Recreational and Nefarious Uses of the Dark Web”
  • Sarah Leggett – “The Metaphysical Club”
  • Anthony Canela Reyes – “Understanding Fox O1 gene: A Deeper Analysis of its Function During Cell Division and Fat Synthesis”

The students’ research projects were selected for the showcase based on an application process that included a form and a short essay describing the research project. Each student will offer a 15-minute presentation of the research. Then a panel of judges and the audience will be allowed a 15-minute question-and-answer session.

Eric Camarillo

The judges will be faculty and staff from University College and UHV alumni, said Eric Camarillo, UHV manager of academic support and a University College instructor. Students will be evaluated based on the quality of their presentations and the thoroughness of their research. The top three students will receive award plaques.

“It’s important for the university and the community to have the opportunity to see what UHV’s students are researching and learning,” Camarillo said. “This showcase will bring people from all majors and backgrounds together, and offer them the chance to learn from one another.”

In addition to sharing their research projects, the showcase will allow students to develop their public speaking and presentation skills, Camarillo said.

“As students pursue their degrees, there are many opportunities to present research and speak in public,” he said. “This conference will offer students a chance to gain some practical experience as presenters and give them something to add to their academic resumes. We have some interesting research topics lined up, and I’m looking forward to seeing them presented.”

To learn more about the showcase, contact Camarillo at 361-570-4286 or

The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973 in Victoria, Texas, offers courses leading to more than 80 academic programs in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as an instructional site in Katy, Texas, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.