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Students prepare to present at virtual UCD


Students are updating their University College Day presentations to fit for online presentations rather than the in-person presentation they planned for.

Meghan E. Lewis, a freshman technical theater major, is presenting “TXWES Makers Lab Made Easy” at Wednesday’s event.

Lewis wrote in an email that she is glad that UCD is still happening but admits that going virtual is making her presentation difficult because it was supposed to be held in the Makers Lab.

Junior biochemistry major Anahita Keer is doing a poster for University College Day. She believes that the virtual presentations this year will mean fewer students ask questions about her work.

“I don’t have as much access to the information I need for this particular presentation because the information is in the Makers Lab,” Lewis wrote.

UCD will be held virtually through Blackboard Collaborate. The keynote will be in the room for Martin Hall at 10:30 a.m. with Dr. Eileen K. Stansbery, chief scientist of NASA. She will be speaking about NASA’s exploration plans as a new era of solar system exploration is developed.

Lewis is preparing for her virtual presentation by creating a PowerPoint out of the notes she had previously prepared for her in-person presentation.

Anahita Keer, junior biochemistry major, is doing a poster on “Partial Characterization of cyctine protease ATG4 in Plasmodium Falciparum.”

Keer wrote in an email that she feels it will be weird having to record a presentation rather than being able to speak to a crowd. She believes that an online presentation will prompt fewer students to ask questions.

Freshman technical theater major Meghan E. Lewis is doing a presentation about the TXWES Makers Lab.

“I am glad we are still doing UCD, even with COVID,” she wrote. “But for my degree, especially the math-based classes, virtual is not the best route. I feel like it is harder to focus without facial cues and body language engaging a listener or the listener encouraging the speaker, so that will be harder to navigate.”

Lexi Barlow, sophomore political science and mass communication double major, is doing her presentation about “Rising STDs Among College Students” with partners Queen Elizondo and Laterra Wair.

Barlow wrote in an email that she fully supports UCD going virtual.

“I really admire the university and our Ramily for making this event possible. I think it’s really important to help keep things as ‘normal’ as possible, so I would have been very disappointed if the event was cancelled,” Barlow wrote.

Barlow believes that switching to an online setting will not be difficult because most of her presentation is made up of videos, but she is still taking measures to prepare for the change.

“The biggest thing I’ve been doing to prepare is coordinating practice sessions with my teammates I’m presenting with. I specifically wanted us to practice our presentations in the virtual blackboard classrooms we will be in for UCD,” Barlow wrote.

For more information on University College Day, go to

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Students prepare to present at virtual UCD