More than a dozen students were awarded grants from the Center for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities (CURCA) at UNG. The annual mini-grants will fund 10 different research projects in the areas of psychological science, chemistry, biology, anthropology, physics and English.

The 14 UNG students to receive a Center for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities (CURCA) mini-grant included:

  • Briana Sargent of Braselton. Sargent, along with Jose Izaguirre Garcia and Lilia Saber with Dr. Ghulam Hasnain were awarded for the project: Side directed mutagenesis studies of PyrD and PyrR genes involved in riboflavin biosynthesis.
  • Neil Patel of Commerce. Patel, along with Melanie Majors with Dr. Linda Purvis were awarded for the project: Molecular characterization and bacterial strain differentiation of songbird Mycoplasma gallisepticum isolates.

The center's mission is to promote learning through students' active engagement in undergraduate research and creative activities during their collegiate careers.

Previously, CURCA awarded its annual mini-grants to faculty members. This year, mini-grants were revamped and awarded to student-led teams with faculty support.

"We realized UNG lacked a mechanism to support student research projects directly, so we decided to refocus the mini-grant awards on students," said Dr. Anastasia Lin, assistant vice president of Research & Engagement. "The grants will allow students to learn about professionalism and prepare for graduate school and the workforce. Though each student must apply with a mentor, the students get the experience of writing a grant and potentially adding it to their resume."

Students wrote research proposals, and UNG faculty and staff members awarded 10 projects.

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