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Seventeen Students Present at National Conference on Undergraduate Education

Seventeen Moravian College students presented posters and papers about their academic research at the National Conference on Undergraduate Education, held March 31-April 2 in Ithaca, N.Y. It was by far the largest Moravian student group ever to present at the prestigious annual national meeting. Moravian has sent students to the NCUR for more than 25 years.

“This is very important news,” commented President Christopher Thomforde. “It demonstrates the Moravian promise to challenge students academically through strong majors and hands-on learning.”

“NCUR is the premier national conference for presenting undergraduate research,” said Carl Salter, chair and professor of chemistry and director of the Student Opportunities for Academic Research program. “Moravian participation at the meeting has grown significantly over the years, in part, because our faculty members have been strongly encouraging students to apply.”

The 2011 Moravian NCUR student presenters were Jason Ginther (computer science), Nick Yelito (computer science), Rebekah Overdorf (computer science), Matt Lutzca (computer science), Molly DuVall (biology), Ryan O’Donnell (biology), Katherine Kercher (biology), John Corbin (environmental studies and sciences), John Reese (biology), Matthew Share (biology), Jordan Barton (biology), Kristen Labert (chemistry), Suzie Yeager (psychology), Kate Brueningsen (English), Chuck Welsko (history), Jenn Screnci (history), and Ruby Johnson (history).

“Dr. Frank Kuserk, my Honors project advisor, was extremely helpful; he motivated me to seek out experience at a national ecological conference by applying to NCUR,” said Molly DuVall ’11, who presented “Heavy Metal Impact on Soil Microarthropod Populations along the Blue Mountain in Eastern Pennsylvania. “The project was both challenging and exciting because I was able to design every aspect of it, with the help of my advisor if needed. The independence and hands-on experience I gained have really helped me prepare for graduate research.”

Students are required to submit abstracts to the host institution (Ithaca College this year) for review and must be accepted by the review committee before they can make presentations at the NCUR meeting. The mission of the NCUR is to promote undergraduate research scholarship and creative activity done in partnership with faculty or other mentors as a vital component of higher education.