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Every year, hundreds of University of Oregon undergraduates participate in research projects with their faculty mentors. They contribute to the expansion of knowledge that has always been central to the mission of every great university.  In this second annual celebration of creative undergraduate academic achievements, we will learn about the innovative work of three of those highly motivated and talented students.


Kyley Brewer, ’20, is an Auckland, New Zealand, native who came to the US in 2016. Her deep interest in pedagogical strategies began with a 7-year-old sister who needed a special approach to learn to read, and continued through tutoring secondary students for national exams, teaching martial arts, and coaching young gymnasts with autism and sensory processing disorders. At UO, Kyley was captivated by the opportunities for accommodating different learning styles that are intrinsic to the history course Reacting to the Past. It is based on an innovative model that engages students as active learners in role-playing games based on true historical events. Kyley has accepted a teaching assistantship at Washington State University, where she will pursue an MA in history.  Her presentation to City Club will address “Student Engagement and the Evolving College Classroom.”


John Francis ’21, is from Northridge, California; he is a biology major with an emphasis on Neuroscience and Behavior, and a minor in chemistry. John is a member of the UO Honors College and is currently conducting his honors thesis in the laboratory of Dr. David McCormick in the UO Institute of Neuroscience. In his free time, he volunteers in the Neurology unit at PeaceHealth/Riverbend and hopes to matriculate into medical school in the fall of 2021. He is a founder and president of the UO Biomechanics, Investigation, Outreach Club, which designed, built, and fit a 3D-printed prosthetic arm for a teen in Springfield. He will speak about “Printing the Future: 3D Printing and its Applications toward Healthcare,” work that recently garnered attention from Senator Wyden’s office.


Rennie Kendrick ’20, is a biology major in the UO Honors College. Since she was in eighth grade, Rennie has been interested in how brains work. At Grant High School in Portland, she ran track, edited the school magazine, sang in the choir, and participated in the Constitution Team. In her spare time, she volunteered in a behavioral neuroscience lab at OHSU. She won the prestigious Stamps Scholarship, one of only five offered to incoming freshman from Oregon.  She has spent her time at UO working on research teams, laser-focused on neuroscience. She will speak to City Club about “The Effect of Training Condition on Associative Inference,” a topic drawn from her ongoing interest in memory. She will continue conducting research in memory, looking at fear memory and anxiety disorders, as a Fulbright scholar at University of British Columbia, Vancouver, after graduation this September.



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