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Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship Symposium to be held Thursday, Sept. 9


BLACKSBURG, Va., Sept. 8, 2009 – Virginia Tech's Office of Distance Learning and University Summer Sessions will host a research symposium on Sept. 9 at 7 p.m. to culminate the scholarship experience of the 2009 Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) program.

The event will be held in the Fralin Life Science Institute and is open to all members of the university community and to the general public.

Student research fellows will present overviews of their research experience conducted during the recent summer session in the company of their faculty mentors and the university community at-large.

“The SURF program provided an excellent avenue for undergraduate students to build their research and analytical skills,” says Michael Herndon, director of university summer sessions. “The experience has sparked students' exploration for graduate school.”

The SURF program was launched as a pilot program in coordination with the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, the College of Natural Resources, and the College of Science. The program was designed to afford undergraduate students the opportunity to be exposed and engaged in the research process, while enrolled in the 2009 Virginia Tech summer sessions program. The three participating colleges identified research fellowship opportunities within their respective colleges, pairing the student to work under the guidance of a sponsoring faculty mentor.

Eight fellowships were awarded to students through a competitive application process, providing them a stipend for 30 hours of research engagement each week.

The 2009 SURF research fellows and accompanying faculty mentors include

  • Danielle Hunter of Ashburn, Va., a senior majoring in human nutrition, foods, and exercise in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, whose faculty mentor was Jim Tokuhisa;
  • Tristan Leckie of Salem, Va., a senior majoring in biological sciences in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, whose faculty mentors were John Galbraith and John Fike;
  • Allison Palmer of Lynchburg, Va., a senior majoring in agriculture and applied economics in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, whose faculty mentors were John Galbraith, John Fike, and Susan Day;
  • Tuan Pham of Springfield, Va., a senior majoring in biological sciences in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, whose faculty mentors were Mohammad A Saghai-Maroof and Richard Veilleux;
  • Jenny Poon of Lexington, S.C., a junior majoring in psychology in the College of Science, whose faculty mentors were Russell Jones and Thomas Ollendick;
  • Matthew Stauffer of Greensboro, N.C., a junior majoring in biological systems engineering in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, whose faculty mentor was Justin Barone;
  • Mark White of Hampton, Va., a senior majoring in food science and technology in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, whose faculty mentor was David Garner Burton Schmale III; and
  • Kathryn Winters of Winchester, Va., a senior majoring in civil and environmental engineering in the the College of Engineering, whose faculty mentor was David Garner Burton Schmale III.

Free parking is available in Wallace, Hillcrest, and Litton Reaves Lots which can be accessed from Washington Street or Duck Pond Road. Parking is also available in the Engel lot, located off of West Campus Drive, after 5:30 p.m. Find more parking information online or call (540) 231-3200.

Find more information about the inaugural research symposium highlighting undergraduate research success, as well as other summer-related events online.