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By George Lewis

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About 175 students, faculty and staff have volunteered to act as guides and room monitors for the 2,500 undergraduates and their mentors during the National Conference on Undergraduate Research.

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March 9, 2001 – (Lexington, Ky.) – Normally, few students are on campus during Spring Break. But this year, from March 15-17, some 2,500 students and their mentors from universities and colleges across the nation will participate in the National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR), thought to be the largest conference ever to be held at UK. Students in all academic disciplines representing 45 states and more than 200 institutions will present papers and poster-board displays and demonstrate their talents in art, music, theater and dance.

Coordinating a conference of such magnitude means special logistical challenges for Kathy McKinley, UK Conferences and Institutes, and Phil Kraemer, Dean of Undergraduate Studies. Among their many tasks: ensure that participants are transported in a timely fashion to and from their hotel and motel rooms, campus and the airport each day. Presentation scheduling presented another formidable task. The presentations and other goings-on will occupy the Student Center, Singletary Center for the Arts, the gallery of the Fine Arts Building and the entire Classroom Building, .

McKinley expressed her gratitude to the approximately 175 students, faculty and staff who have volunteered to help in registration and act as guides and room monitors. She said more volunteers are needed. McKinley praised the Lexington Convention and Visitors Bureau for contributing maps and other information that will be useful to participants.

The conference will include noted speakers from the sciences and humanities, including two from UK and one closely affiliated with the university: Wendell Berry, Kentucky poet, author and farmer; Gail Robinson, influential opera performer and contributor and holder of the Endowed Chair for Vocal Performance at the University of Kentucky; Phillip Sharp, professor of biology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and winner of the 1993 Nobel Prize; and Gerald Smith, UK professor of history, a contributing editor in the Martin Luther King Jr. Papers Project based at Stanford University.

The theme of "Science and the Human Spirit" is meant to inspire the investigation of the roles humanity has assigned, in its pursuit of goals and aspirations, to computers, interactive video and the Internet.

For more information, or to volunteer, see

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