Fulton Conference: The Perfect Something for Your Resume

One of our college’s most successful annual events, the Fulton Conference, is coming up at the end of this semester — and we want you to participate! The conference features research done by undergraduate and graduate students from the College of Family, Home, and Social Sciences.

The Fulton Conference gives students the chance to partner with a faculty mentor and do academic research, but there are many additional reasons that students should consider presenting at the Fulton Conference. For example, conference participation looks great on a resume, the conference prepares students to present at other academic conferences, and there are cash prizes for the best research projects.

How can you participate in the Fulton Conference?

Posters are due on Thursday, March 29, at noon.

The Fulton Conference will take place on Thursday, April 12 from 8:30-11:30 a.m. in the Wilkinson Center Ballroom.

Here’s a more detailed list of tasks that you’ll need to complete in order to participate. To summarize, you’ll design a poster, upload a digital version to our college website, and stay near your poster to answer questions during the day of the conference.

We can’t wait to see you at the 2018 Fulton Conference!

Start brainstorming your research questions today.

 

Does Utah’s Poor Winter Air Quality Hurt School Attendance?

Northern Utah’s unique geographical situation leads to periods of crippling inversion during certain times of the year, primarily the month of January.  With this poor air quality causing many negative health effects, young children are frequently kept inside for recesses during times of inversion.  But, could the inversion be affecting more than just recreation?  What if the existence of inversions altered school attendance in general?
In conjunction with our college’s recent Fulton Conference, a team of economics students including Nicholas Hale, Ryan Allen, and John Cannon, researched this concept.  Their research found a positive correlation between elementary school absences and air pollution.

The Results of the Study

The team studied four different Utah school districts: Alpine, Provo, Salt Lake City, and Park City.  Using Park City School District as a quasi-control district because of its higher elevation and subsequent lower exposure to poor air quality, they were able to track school attendance and then compare those numbers to the fluctuating inversion levels.
Previous research showed that an increase in air pollution was associated with a 1.5 to two percent increase in elementary school absences.  Researchers predicted that, during an inversion episode, the percentage of absences could triple to six percent or higher.
Though this may sound like an unfavorable statistic, the research shows that air quality, and thus the correlated attendance levels, has actually been improving when compared with decades past.
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Courtesy of Flickr.

The Impact of the Study

Nicholas Hales, one of the student researchers, explained, “In 1992, Dr. Pope [a faculty mentor for the project] published a paper that explored a positive association between air pollution exposure and elementary school absences in Utah Valley.  This study was conducted during a time when air pollution levels were much higher in Utah Valley due to the operation of a large steel mill.  Our more recent study was conducted to see if this association persisted at today’s lower levels of air pollution.”
Because the research shows a continued correlation today, the findings could help resolve problem in the future.  Says Hales: “[The research] may be evidence that, if air pollution were further reduced in Utah Valley, elementary school attendance might increase marginally. I think this research would be interesting and potentially helpful to parents, teachers, and others involved in elementary education.”
The details of Hale, Allen, and Cannon’s study are presented in their winning poster below:
A Quasi-Experimental Analysis of Elementary School Absences and Air Pollution.jpg
The purpose of the conference at which Hales and his co-authors presented their poster was to provide an opportunity for students, both undergraduate and graduate, to participate in and present meaningful research in their field of study. Looking back on his experience, Hales stated: “I loved being involved in the Fulton Conference.  It was a great opportunity for me to explain the research I participated in to a wider audience.  I really appreciated the opportunity to prepare my poster and present it.  I would definitely encourage other students to participate in the future.”

Devoted FHSS Benefactor Mary Lou Fulton Passes Away

Fulton PhotoA rare few have left a legacy so deep and expansive, and one that spans the decades, as Mary Lou Fulton. As a devoted supporter of student achievement at Brigham Young University, Fulton’s generous support and impact on higher education will be greatly missed. The Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology reported that she passed away the first of October at age 82. She was one of the greatest benefactors of the College of Family, Home, and Social Sciences and Brigham Young University. Through the endowment established in her name, she touched many students’ and faculty members’ lives with her commitment to excellence and appreciation for scholarship.

Along with her husband, Ira R. Fulton, she generously endowed four chairs in Mary Lou’s name at BYU. The Mary Lou Fulton Endowed Chair in the College of Family, Home, and Social Sciences provides meaningful research and educational experiences for students, faculty, and children. The chair was established by her husband in 2004 in recognition of her example.

The Arizona native always maintained an enthusiasm for lifting others and promoting academic pursuits. In 1999, her and her husband’s first gift to BYU came as renovation help for the neuroscience labs located in the Spencer W. Kimball Tower. Since then, they have donated in excess of $50 million to Brigham Young University.

What the Fulton Chair Does

The Mary Lou Fulton Chair in the College of Family, Home, and Social Sciences funds activities that contribute to the holistic education of students and faculty alike in these six ways:

  1. Annual Conference: This BYU initiative encourages hand’s on research and creative scholarship for undergraduate
    1504-31 069 1504-31 FHSS Fulton Poster Conference April 9, 2015 Photo by Aaron Cornia © BYU PHOTO 2015 All Rights Reserved photo@byu.edu  (801)422-7322
    Photo by Aaron Cornia
    © BYU PHOTO 2015
    All Rights Reserved
    photo@byu.edu

    students who receive personal mentoring from faculty. Opportunities may include study abroad, internships, and service projects.

  2. Professorships: Established scholars with a track record of excellence in teaching and research receive a Mary Lou Fulton Professorship for five years.
  3. Internship Grants: Current undergraduate and graduate students who are declared majors in a program in the College of FHSS apply for an internship grant of up to$1,600.
  4. Conference Participation Grants: This award can be used to pay for students expenses (travel, meals, lodging, etc.) regarding participation in professional academic conferences.
  5. Mentored Learning Grants: These fellowships are dispensed based upon peer-reviewed applications and enable faculty to involve undergraduates with unique research and publication opportunities. Students in various disciplines benefit from direct interaction with faculty on significant projects.
  6. Young Scholar Awards: This award offers incentives and recognition for outstanding scholarly work by promising young faculty. Each award provides funds to hire one student to assist the faculty member in his or her research.

The Annual Mentored Student Research Conference is a full-day event, and is approaching its twelfth year in 2016. Both undergraduate and graduate students from all departments within the College of FHSS are invited to submit a research poster. The event is designed to create a platform for students to inform other students, faculty members, and the public.

Several faculty members from the College of FHSS have benefited from the Fulton’s generosity. A professorship is an investment in outstanding scholars. Through this award, faculty recipients extend invaluable learning opportunities–which funnel future success for undergraduate students towards securing jobs and completing degrees at the best graduate programs. In 2005, Arden Pope, professor of economics, received the Mary Lou Fulton Professorship from the College of Family, Home, and Social Sciences. Pope, who teaches more than 600 students each year about the principles of environmental economics, said the Fulton Professorship is an important support to him and his students. “The Fulton Professorship has helped support several collaborative research efforts with scholars from various other universities and institutions,” Pope said.

Student Rebekah Purcell had this to say about her Fulton-funded experience in the British Library:

This experience…helped me realize how real my work is. I will never forget that feeling of accomplishment. I know that it is something that I will always hold on to as I keep pushing forward with my degree. [The Fulton’s] generous contribution [helped] me achieve this dream. I will always be so grateful for it.

Likewise, Wade Jacoby, professor of political science has felt the impact of the Mary Lou Fulton Professorship in Political Science. He said that with the assistance of research support from this professorship, he achieved an exceptionally productive year publishing content and organized a strong team of student research assistants. For him, 2014 was an outstanding year. “I published four journal articles. I also published a chapter in a book at Oxford University Press with a former BYU student, which he used to get into the PhD program at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island,” Jacoby said. During this time, Jacoby also co-authored a book for Cambridge University Press, in conjunction with colleagues from several top universities in the nation.

The Fultons at BYU

Nearly every college and department on BYU’s campus has felt the generous hands of Ira and Mary Lou Fulton. Among those include the Joseph F. Smith Building, the BYU Athletic Complex, the BYU Broadcasting Building, and the Gordon B. Hinckley Alumni & Visitors Center. Other chairs begun to honor her legacy include the Mary Lou Fulton Chair in Theatre and Media Arts, the Mary Lou Fulton Chair in Health and Human Performance and the Mary Lou Fulton Chair of World Languages.

To find the imprint of Mary Lou Fulton’s hand at BYU is an easy task. To follow the impact of it for generations to come will not be so easy.

What kind of legacy would you like to leave at BYU?