19th Annual Student Research Symposium on Campus

ROCKY MOUNT, NORTH CAROLINA- North Carolina Wesleyan University hosted their 19th Annual Student Symposium for the 2024 Spring Semester on Wednesday, April 10 at The Dunn Center. The Symposium included student oral presentations, guest speaker, Meredith Gringle, and concluded with a student poster presentation.

Co-Coordinator, Dr. Heather Louch, shares that the Student Symposium started in 2004 as a way for students conducting research to share that research with the university community. It was modeled after a conference, where research is shared either through poster sessions or oral presentations. Louch states, “Presenting at a conference is something that most students do if they go on to graduate school; with the Symposium, they gain a similar experience and see the full circle of research from developing an inquiry to sharing the results with a broader audience. It has been a successful event for so many years only due to the ongoing support of colleagues at the University.”

Louch often asks students what they learned about “doing science,” and the admittance of frustration, lack of motivation or interest, and realization of how much work it requires is also paired with how rewarding and fun it can be. Louch responds, “All of these comments encompass the sentiments felt by researchers as they work through their investigations and prepare to share their research, so in that regard, students have experienced first hand the ups and downs of the research investigation while also being able to discuss those findings with the community. What better way to learn about ‘doing science’?”

Winners of the poster competition have received a certificate and a cash prize courtesy of the School of Mathematics and Sciences (all poster presenters were enrolled in science courses). The winners are as follows (upper and lower designation refers to the course number with 300/400 being the upper-level courses):

1st Place Lower-Level Category:
Dunya Salem – Does Texture Protect Caterpillars from Predation?  

2nd Place Lower-Level Category:
Mackenzie Landers, Wesley Owens, Stephanie Valle – How Ladybug Spots Affect Predation

1st Place Upper-Level Category:

Chloe Lynch, Kristalyn Minchew, Christian Van Norden – The Effects of Acetaminophen and Microplastics on Physella acuta Movement, Growth, and Reproduction

2nd Place Upper-Level Category:
Gracie Wade – Investigating and Observing Feline Activity Through the Eyes of Hunger

Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Joseph Lane, states, “The Student Symposium represents the very best example of North Carolina Wesleyan’s personal, practical, and purpose-driven approach to education.  We are so proud of the students who presented their research and who demonstrated excellent command of their topics when answering questions from the judges, faculty, and community.”

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