USC Aiken will host its annual Research Day at the Student Activity Center today from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.


The event showcases student research and is open to the public. Research Day includes a poster session available for viewing in the lobby from noon to 3:30 p.m. Oral presentations will take place in the mezzanine at the same times. An award ceremony will be held from 4 to 5 p.m.


Cash awards will be presented to student award winners, selected by university faculty members.


Research Day is open to all students of all disciplines. Research findings are presented via poster or oral presentation. All participants work with faculty members, who review the final projects before their presentations.


This year marks the sixth anniversary of Research Day at USCA, said the program’s director, Dr. Chad Leverette. He is the assistant vice chancellor for academic affairs and also is a chemistry professor.


“This is such a wonderful event for our students and faculty where we highlight undergraduate scholarship and research on our campus,” Leverette said in a press release. “It’s a very exciting day for us at USC Aiken.”


Research Day is modeled on the University of South Carolina’s Discovery Day.


Nicole Streeb, a 2012 gold award winner and a December graduate, had worked with her mentor, Dr. Ed Callen, chair of the psychology department. The project involved rats as related to learning and behavior components that might be involved in anorexia. The rats were given the opportunity to run on a running wheel and eat all they wanted, but only at certain times of the day. Surprisingly, the rats started to exercise more and eat less. The speculation, Callen said, is this might be a model for some eating disorders.


Streeb also received a prestigious Magellan Scholarship for research from the University of South Carolina.


“Dr. Callen has been a great mentor,” Streeb said. “I’ve learned a lot and doing all this has been amazing. ... Through this project, so many doors have been opened for me.”


Streeb’s Magellan Scholarship and the Research Day honors were a big accomplishment, Callen said last year.


“She’s a great student,” he said. “Nicole is doing research that goes seven days a week, two weeks at a time. It’s fun to see students carry through with a project and get their own recognition. That’s why we do what we do.”