Samantha Wetherell

Dec. 15, 2023

Samantha Wetherell, senior, pursuing a B.S. degree in Environmental & Water Resource Economics (EWRE), had the opportunity to present her ongoing undergraduate research this fall on climate change attitudes, climate solution valuation, and the effect of informational media. In late August 2023, Samantha presented her undergraduate research at the Undergraduate Research Consortium (UROC) poster session through her Access, Wellness, and Relational Determinants of Student Success (AWARDSS) program at UArizona. Then, in September 2023, Samantha was able to present her undergraduate research at the large American Psychological Association’s (APA) annual convention in Washington, DC. 

UROC is an organization at UArizona that provides underrepresented individuals with research, graduate school preparation, and funding through a mix of programs. Samantha was able to present her undergraduate research at the UROC consortium as her first poster presentation in her undergraduate career. She mentioned, “I have never done a poster presentation before, so it was valuable to learn how to break down my research to fit on a singular poster board. It was also great to learn how to visualize the work I do in graphics.” Samantha went on to explain that presenting at the consortium was enjoyable and, “it is great to get to engage with other students and professors on your research and answer questions as well as ask questions on others’ research!” 

Samantha went on to recommend undergraduate students to apply to UROC and any semester or year-long programs sponsored by UROC, to have the opportunity to present at the consortium with the many undergraduate students who are just as interested in research and graduate school. Samantha said, “My advice to those who do present would be to try to communicate your research with as wide of audience as possible. Making your research interesting to look at and digestible to read or listen to is an important part of learning scientific communication, which this consortium provides.” 

The APA is considered the leading scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the U.S., with more than 146,000 participants in research, education, clinics, and much more. Moreover, the annual convention is considered the largest gathering of psychologists in the world, with thousands of practitioners, educators, researchers, policymakers, and more. 

Samantha recollected, “Presenting as an undergraduate with my UROC program, AWARDSS, was a tremendous experience. As someone with previous experience in presenting, I had the public speaking skills necessary to present, but I have never presented my research to such a wide variety of people before.” With such a diverse audience of professionals and researchers, Samantha found it exciting and new, saying, “This experience helped me understand how to present my research to people outside of my field, talk about my research succinctly, and demonstrate the importance of my research to people outside of my field.” 

Samantha has since closed her survey experiment and has begun analyzing her collected research data, which she has great hopes to publish coming Spring 2024 semester!