Students and Faculty Participated in National Conference on Undergraduate Research

Friday, April 8, 2011

Twenty-five Westminster College students presented their research at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) March 31-April 2 at Ithaca (N.Y.) College.

The interdisciplinary conference hosted over 2,000 students from across the country.  Presenters were invited from all institutions of higher learning and from all academic curricula.  The conference created an environment for the celebration and promotion of undergraduate student achievement, provided models of exemplary research and scholarship, and helped improve the state of undergraduate education.

"NCUR was wonderful with such a diversity of students and disciplines," said Sarah Kehr, a senior English major.  "Since I've presented my research a few times now, I felt comfortable presenting to another audience, but the questions-and-answer session was the best part.  My moderator and the other presenters in the room had so many helpful comments and questions that I found myself thoroughly enjoying the experience and learning so much from students and professors I'd never met before."

"NCUR provided me the opportunity to share my research with students and professors who had similar interests," said Candace Okello, a senior communication studies major.  "I appreciated the questions and feedback that I received and also the support from Westminster faculty and my fellow classmates."

"My experience at NCUR was very worthwhile," said Neil Pilarski, a senior computer information systems and business administration major.  "My presentation went well and many attendees seemed interested in the research.  It was also interesting to listen to other presentations and attend the poster sessions, which gave a more visual representation.  It was an excellent trip and I'm very glad that I participated.  I thank Westminster, the Drinko Center, and my adviser, Dr. Terri Lenox, for making the research and the trip possible."

Westminster faculty who accompanied the students were: Dr. A. Dwight Castro, professor of classics; Dr. Sarah Kennedy, assistant professor of chemistry; Dr. Patrick Krantz, associate professor of education and director of Westminster's Drinko Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning; Dr. Terri Lenox, associate professor of computer science and chair of Westminster's Department of Mathematics and Computer Science; Dr. Sherri Pataki, assistant professor of psychology; and Dr. Karen Resendes, assistant professor of biology.

The Westminster students received travel/presentation grants from Westminster's Drinko Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning to help fund the trip.

The Drinko Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning was created to enrich undergraduate education at Westminster through advancing world-class teaching as well as by participating in collaborations that address community and regional needs including strengthening K-12 education.  The Undergraduate Research Initiative provides funding for students to conduct research and to present their research at regional and national conferences.  Additional information is available at www.westminster.edu/drinko.

Contact Lenox at (724) 946-7289, e-mail lenoxtl@westminster.edu, or visit http://www.ithaca.edu/ncur2011/ for additional information about NCUR.

About Westminster College...
Founded in 1852 and related to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Westminster College ranks first in the nation as "Best College for Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math," according to Forbes.com. Westminster is a top tier liberal arts college, a national leader in graduation rate performance, and a "Great School, Great Price," according to U.S. News Best Colleges guide. Westminster ranked 38th among liberal arts colleges, according to the Washington Monthly College Guide, and is one of the most affordable national liberal arts colleges in Pennsylvania. Westminster is also honored as one of "The Best 373 Colleges" and "Best in the Northeast" by The Princeton Review, and is named to the President's Honor Roll for excellence in service learning.

Nearly 1,600 undergraduate and graduate students benefit from individualized attention from dedicated faculty while choosing from 41 majors and nearly 100 organizations on the New Wilmington, Pa., campus. Visit www.westminster.edu/advantage to view "Advantage: Westminster" A Strategic Plan 2010-2020.

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Westminster NCUR Group