The Lizard Log

The Langkilde Lab in Action

Undergrad Research in All Its Glory

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The Eberly College of Science held it’s first Undergrad Experiences Poster Exhibit last week, which I coordinated in my current role as the Tombros Fellow for Undergrad Research in the Dean’s Office. It was a huge success – if I do say so myself.

Signage directing students to the poster exhibit, and featuring Lindsey Swierk and ** and ** (undergraduate researcher lab alum)

Signage directing students to the poster exhibit, and featuring Lindsey Swierk and Erica Green and Edward Owen (undergraduate researcher lab alum).

We had 47 undergraduates present their research and international experiences, and over 300 attendees!! The place was so packed that it was difficult to move. OK, so many of these students were there because their professors mandated attendance; but they assure me they would have come anyway (right?). All evidence suggests that everyone got something out of the experience.

Early in the evening – you can see the line of students up the stairs in the background, waiting to get in.

Early in the evening – you can see the line of students up the stairs in the background, waiting to get in.

Standing room only.

Standing room only.

I had several goals for this event. Many of the attendees were first year undergraduate students in their very first semester in college. Many of them have heard and maybe even thought about becoming involved in research. This gave them the opportunity to see the types of research being conducted in the College, and to ask the presenters about their experiences. (I tell them that they should become involved in research, but it’s been a while since I was an undergraduate so it’s much better if they get this from their peers).

The presenters had the opportunity to talk about their research with a scientific audience. (There is a University-wide Undergraduate Poster Session, which allows students to present to a general (non-scientific) audience).

Several Departments and Programs across the College sponsored prizes, and we had over 30 judges volunteer their time to select deserving students.

Our Excellence in Life Science Research Overall Winner, Josh Bram, with our guest alumni judge Dr. McManigle.

Our Excellence in Life Science Research Overall Winner, Josh Bram, with our guest alumni judge Dr. McManigle.

Our very own Mark Herr took out the Outstanding Poster Presentation prize provided by the Center for Brain, Behavior and Cognition (the same project for which he received honorable mention at JMIH).

Me and Mark with his award certificate. With everything going on, we forgot to do this on the night. So we staged a photo with a “hand” from Chris Howey and Gregory Reilly (our newest undergrad lab member).

Me and Mark with his award certificate. With everything going on, we forgot to do this on the night. So we staged a photo with a “hand” from Chris Howey and Gregory Reilly (our newest undergrad lab member).

And Cecilia Zemanek definitely wins the award for “most-productivity-in-the-shortest-amount-of-time”. Cecilia decided she was going to do a poster before even starting her research – and only 1 week before the presentation. She managed to design an excellent project on Mexican Jumping Beans, collect and analyze the data, and put together a fantastic poster in just 7 days. Extraordinary!

Cecilia at the Exhibit with her poster, and in the lab working on her lighting-fast research.

Cecilia at the Exhibit with her poster… and some beans!

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