By Gabriel Sexton

University of Wisconsin-Superior (UWS) summer undergraduate researchers had their final presentation of their findings in Swenson Hall on Wednesday, Oct. 16.

Some students had prepared PowerPoint presentations, while others had made posters that presented their information. The presentations were roughly 15 minutes long and included findings on a range of topics including pollution, social issues, and political issues.

The projects have an extensive timeline to come into fruition. It’s not just a few months of researching and then a presentation. All of the researchers had to have their ideas ready by Dec. 2018. In the months following, researchers gather information on their projects. Then, researchers are paid to do their research by the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF).

One of the projects that was on display was by Shantae Golen-Marquardt, focusing on racial inequalities in incarceration rates.
Golen-Marquardt said that her political science class inspired her to commit herself to this project. Pursuing a career in the legal field created a correlation between the topic of study and Golen-Marquardt’s future.

“I discovered hidden motives behind the ‘War on Drugs’ and decided to look closer at the policies that were enacted as a result. This led me to the sentencing guidelines and mandatory minimums,” said Golen-Marquardt regarding her most significant findings.

Dr. Maria Cuzzo, Interim Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, as well as Golen-Marquardt’s project mentor said, “Shantae was and is a wonderful young scholar. She’s got all the markers of a researcher: a curious mind, asking questions, digging deep into existing literature, and seeking insights into important social issues related to law and justice,” Cuzzo continued, “I couldn’t be more proud of her growth and her commitment to research and scholarship.”