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Simon du Toit and VP Research K.W. Michael SiuOrganizer Simon du Toit and VP Research K.W. Michael Siu congratulate award winners at the conclusion of the UWill Discover conference, Tuesday in the CAW Student Centre.

Conference highlights research by undergraduates

Kayla Dettinger can trace her family’s involvement with Willistead Manor back at least two generations—her grandmother Mary Jane Dettinger has long been dedicated to the preservation of the Walkerville landmark and currently serves on its board of directors.

That sparked her interest in the city-owned heritage facility, originally built as a home for distillery heir Edward Chandler Walker and his wife Mary Walker. Kayla Dettinger’s work to create a digital archive of primary documents, including Mary Walker’s will and personal letters, earned the third-year history student the Community Connection Award at the UWill Discover conference Tuesday.

“I couldn’t imagine I would be recognized in this way,” Dettinger said. “I feel really honoured.”

Organizer Simon du Toit said the event, the University’s first campus-wide showcase for undergraduate research, was a huge success.

“Just seeing how excited the participants were to share their work put a smile on my face all day,” he said. “Hundreds of audience members engaged with the students. I am very grateful for all the support.”

Researchers took home cash prizes in a variety of disciplines. Find a full list of award winners on the conference website.