Capitol Day

Moravian College put several of its best minds forward in Harrisburg last week, when the State Capitol hosted its third semi-annual undergraduate research poster conference. The conference showcases the research of some of Pennsylvania's brightest students from twenty-three colleges and universities, and provides them an opportunity to discuss their work with legislators, lobbyists, and Capitol visitors.

Carl Salter, lead organizer of Undergraduate Research at the Capitol --Pennsylvania, makes opening remarks at the conference held October 7.

Moravian's Carl Salter, chair and professor of chemistry, is lead organizer of the event. The October 7, 2008, Undergraduate Research at the Capitol—Pennsylvania featured the work of two Moravian students—Sarabeth Brockley ("The Central Role of Plants in the Ecological Restoration of a Portion of the Palmerton Superfund Site"), advised by Diane Husic, chair and professor of biology, and Dan Kunkle of the Lehigh Gap Nature Center; and Samantha Christman ("Maternal Stress, Childhood Depression, and Behavioral Problems"), advised by Michelle Schmidt, chair and associate professor of psychology. Muhlenberg, Lehigh, Villanova, Dickinson, and other schools also were represented, presenting scholarship in physical, life, and social sciences, engineering, information technology, and humanities.

"I'm very impressed with the high level of research that went into these projects," said Pennsylvania Speaker of the House Dennis O'Brien. "Participation in research is important to the educational development of students, and it can lead to work that benefits our state and the nation."

President Thomforde advocated for Moravian College and higher education when he met with State legislators, including Representative Robert Freeman (above), October 7.

President Christopher Thomforde and Julie Del Giorno, chief of staff, also attended. President Thomforde seized the day to advance the Moravian mission and new strategic plan—and to advocate for higher education in general—with key Pennsylvania legislators.

"The Moravian vision of the future encompasses first generation students, so it's important that our legislators continue to support PHEAA and funding for higher education, in general," commented President Thomforde. "Also, some of the guidelines by the Pennsylvania Department of Education threaten our ability to implement a teacher certification program while remaining true to our liberal arts core." His packed schedule included talks with Representatives Dally, Brennan (a Moravian alum), Samuelson, Freeman (Moravian alum), and Senator Lisa Boscola.