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Middlebury senior Kevin O'Rourke discusses his research on streptococcus mutans at Los Alamos National Laboratory during the summer of 2008 at the student summer symposium.

Spring student symposium April 17 showcases undergraduate research [Video]

April 13, 2009

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. ? On Friday, April 17, from 1-7 p.m., more than 100 Middlebury College students will showcase the results of their recent research efforts as part of the third annual Middlebury College Spring Student Symposium. The symposium will highlight student work through a mix of lectures, performances, posters, artwork and readings. The presentations will take place in the Great Hall and various classrooms of McCardell Bicentennial Hall, located on Bicentennial Way off College Street (Route 125). All events are free and open to the public.

VIDEO: Highlights from the symposium
Organized by the Middlebury College Undergraduate Research Office, the event is designed to celebrate the participation of undergraduates in hands-on research activities both on and off campus. Professor of Geology and Associate Dean for Undergraduate Research Patricia Manley and Associate Dean of the College Karen Guttentag oversee the office and work closely with students and colleagues to help identify, fund and carry out research opportunities. Several of the student presenters have already made presentations of their work at professional conferences around the country.At 1 p.m. in the Great Hall, Middlebury College President Ronald D. Liebowitz will offer introductory remarks, followed by speaker Cinda Scott, a 1999 Middlebury College graduate, who will discuss her career path in research.

Scott recently completed her doctorate in marine molecular evolutionary genomics from the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science (RSMAS).

As a recipient of a fellowship from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Educational Partnership Program and a scholarship from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, she studied the genetic basis of gene expression in the teleost fish, Fundulus heteroclitus.

Cinda Scott '99 will be a guest speaker at the Student Research Symposium.
Scott's undergraduate research included studying tropical marine biology at the University of Costa Rica, and at the Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratories, where she focused on chloride secretion in dogfish shark and cystic fibrosis.

Topics for student research represent a wide array of disciplines from arts and literature through the natural and social sciences. A few of the highlights of this year's symposium include:
  • In a category titled, "Let's Talk About Sex" Teresa Jauregui will give a presentation titled, "Love Bites: The Sexual Evolution of Vampires in Literature."
  • In the category, "Managing the Earth's Resources," Corinne Almquist will present on the topic of "Christian responses to Mountaintop Removal in Appalachia." In the same group, Margo Hennet will discuss, "Saving the Wild Cheetah: the Role of Reproductive Research, Genetics and Ecology in Conservation."
  • In a the category titled, "Through the Lens of Food," Edward Kwasnik will present on "The Grocery Gap: Assessing Food Access in U.S. Cities."
  • In a category of regional interest, "The Hidden World of Lake Champlain," three students will discuss research on hydrodynamics and sub-bottom topography of the lake.
  • In the category of "Fighting Disease," Joshual Wessler will share research titled, "Feeding the Disease: An Environmental Perspective on the History of Cancer in the Early Twentieth Century."

Many more topics and presentations will be covered as well. Each student presentation will be 15 minutes long and there will be a 45-minute poster session in the Great Hall of Bicentennial Hall beginning at 3 p.m. A complete schedule is available online.

For more information, contact the college's office of undergraduate research 802-443-3026 or email Colleen Converse.

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