RIO GRANDE, Ohio — Four chemistry and biology students from the University of Rio Grande attended the Ohio Academy of Science’s annual meeting at Ohio University.
Halley Alberts, Amanda Baker, Aaron Landrum and Andrew Lawrence created posters to explain the research projects they have been working on during the semester and presented the work to other students and science professionals from around the state.
Associate Professor of Chemistry, John Means, said the Ohio Academy of Science, which works to promote the sciences and science opportunities throughout the state, hosts this conference to give students and professionals a chance to network and show what projects they have been involved in during the year.
“This year we had three chemistry students and one biology student present their posters,” Means said. “They all did very well and people have come up and told me how wonderfully they presented their work. Our students put a lot of time and effort into their research projects, and some of them have worked on them for an entire year. It’s exciting to see them telling the story of what went into their project.”
Landrum, a senior chemistry major from Jackson, received an Ohio Academy of Science Undergraduate Research Award for his work to determine a potential cause for demyelination of the spine in transverse myelitis. He said he is thankful for the award.
“Winning the award was a great feeling and a sense of accomplishment,” Landrum said. “It was a fantastic opportunity to present to a larger audience of people who haven’t seen my previous projects.”
Alberts, a junior biology and chemistry double major from Crown City, presented her project about discovering how to use a computer program to model the inhibition of an enzyme that is important for certain types of breast cancer. She said she was eager to share Rio’s science departments’ current research.
“I was fortunate enough to go last year as a sophomore just to watch some of the juniors and seniors present their projects,” Alberts said. “Now I’m the one who gets to present and share what I’ve been working on all year, represent Rio and show we are doing really great research here.”
Lawrence, a senior chemistry major from Gallipolis, presented his work on polyphenols and breast cancer at the conference. He said it was a new experience to interact with a larger audience and tell them about his research.
“It was a new experience having professors from other colleges coming up and asking us questions about our work,” Lawrence said. “The chemistry program here at Rio does a great job getting us ready for events like this by having us give presentations in some of our classes to our peers and professors. It really helps us build up to presenting at something as large as this conference.”
Baker, a senior biology major from Gallipolis, said she presented her project on herbal antibiotics and had a great time sharing her ideas with peers from across the state.
“I didn’t know what to expect at first, but then once we got there it was a fun experience. We saw what types of projects others from around the state are working on,” she said. “There were so many people presenting, other college students and even some high school students. It was really cool getting to present my own project and have people show interest in my work.”
Means said he enjoys going to the conference, giving his students the field experience of presenting and showing the research they are working on as undergraduates. Means also said this was the fifth year Rio has had students present and the first year a student has won an award at the conference.
Jessica Patterson is a communications specialist for the University of Rio Grande and Rio Grande Community College.