NEWS AND EVENTS
More than 500 students took part in last week's Research Symposium, the 7th annual event held at Holmes Hall.
"The Research Symposium is one of the highlights of our year, an event that brings us all together to appreciate all the marvelous work that our students have accomplished," said Elizabeth Simmons, dean of Lyman Briggs College.
Students from each major discipline participated, either as a class or as individuals, by giving an oral presentation or presenting a poster of their undergraduate research project. Some chose to present research from independent study, Alternative Spring Break, and Study Abroad.
"Conducting research as an undergraduate is one of the surest ways to help students persist in STEM majors and appreciate why they need to learn about such a wide variety of topics; it is for this reason we integrate research experiences into as many of our Lyman Briggs courses as possible," said Dean Simmons.
Visitors at the event saw projects on a diverse range of areas from zoology to computer science, and topics as different as human depression and bioluminescence in sea creatures. The event was an excellent example of the Briggs commitment to preparing students for their future, and many faculty were excited to connect the Symposium with their courses.
"This event is about practice, and gaining experience in presenting research," said Dr. Ryan Sweeder, an associate professor of chemistry at Briggs and the faculty member who led the way in creating the event.
"It's about sharing your research with your peers, and learning to do it in a collegial setting that encourages positive feedback," he said.
Many students received awards for their work on presentations, including Roger Mullet, an environmental science and management senior (also a member of the Honors College), who received top prize in the physics oral presentation session.
Each class awarded a top prize for presentations, including each section of chemistry and the Briggs mathematics group.
And special congratulations goes to those who participated in the Special Poster Sessions held Monday and Tuesday evening. Eight students were chosen from this group by a panel of judges, who awarded nearly $2,000 in prize money between the two nights (with support provided by the MSU Federal Credit Union).
"This year we are particularly delighted that MSUFCU is joining us in supporting student research and all of its many academic benefits," said Dean Simmons.
The Grand Prize for the Monday evening session went to Clare Laut (left), a sophomore with a dual major in microbiology and genomics & molecular genetics at Briggs, and a member of the Honors College, for her project "Effects of pH and Nutrition Depletion on Group B Streptococcus Cells that Exist in Biofilms."
Monica Pomaville (right), a senior with a dual major in physiology and nutritional science, took home the Grand Prize on Tuesday, for her project "Implications of Novel Lung Cancer Associated Mutations in Human Retinoblastoma Family Protein p130."
Thank you to LBC Alumni Association President Diane Barker, MSUFCU VP James Hunsanger, and Briggs' own Dean Elizabeth Simmons for judging the event.
When asked why the Research Symposium was so important, Dean Simmons said, "The work displayed at the Research Symposium pulls together courses across the disciplines and students across the years. Faculty come to see their own students' work and get drawn into tantalizing posters displayed by students from other courses- it's a great opportunity to experience the full intellectual richness of the Briggs community."
And it is all about faculty working together to maximize the benefit to students. "Posters by seniors and freshmen can end up side by side: the former see how far they themselves have progressed over their time at MSU while the latter are inspired by seeing how far they can go in college research. I am immensely grateful to the hard work that Prof. Ryan Sweeder puts in each year, along with supportive students and colleagues, to make this event such a success," she said.
For more photos from the 2013 Research Symposium, please visit the Briggs Facebook page.
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