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Virginia Tech to host 2012 ACC Meeting of the Minds undergraduate research conference


   

Virginia Tech participants in the 2012 ACC Meeting of the Minds Conference First row (left to right): Lara Mangum, Andrew Hall, Michael Lawless, and Laura Craig. Second row (left to right): Bethany Gregory, Winston Becker, and Kenneth Black. Third row (left to right): Arielle Grim McNally, Eric Reasor, and Ross McFarland. Not pictured: Kristen Fowler, Victoria James, Casey Setash, Stephanie Welch, and Daniel Wainless.


BLACKSBURG, Va., March 29, 2012 – When the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) is mentioned, a clash on the court or field may come to mind. On March 30 through April 1, however, there will be a different show of power with a meeting of the minds among undergraduate researchers at the 12 member schools.

The seventh annual ACC Meeting of the Minds Conference is being hosted for the first time in Blacksburg, Va., at The Inn at Virginia Tech.

Selection to represent Virginia Tech was competitive. Students from each college submitted an application to the Office of Undergraduate Research and the associate academic dean and/or designated committee in each college. The committee selected fifteen students out of the 52 applicants to represent Virginia Tech at the ACC Meeting of the Minds Conference, with two or three student representatives from each college. 

The selected students and projects include

  • Kristen Fowler of Portland, Ore., a junior majoring in music in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences. Her research is titled “The Tango: a Modern Interpretation.”
  • Lara Mangum of Ashburn, Va., a senior double majoring in English and French in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences. Her research is titled “Evelina and the French connection: The Madame Duvall subplot.”
  • Victoria James of Washington, D.C., a senior majoring in international studies in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences. Her research is titled “Después de la guerra: An examination of Argentina’s Dirty War and political history as a post-conflict society.”
  • Michael Lawless of Warrenton, Va., a senior majoring in human nutrition, foods, and exercise in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. His research is titled “Lipid metabolism as target for ovarian cancer prevention by exogenous sphingolipids.”
  • Eric Reasor of Rural Retreat, Va., a senior majoring in crop and soil environmental sciences in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. His research is titled “The influence of fall fertilization programs on the traffic tolerance and recovery of sprigged bermudagrass varieties.”
  • Bethany Gregory of Bastian, Va., a junior majoring in wildlife science in the College of Natural Resources and Environment. Her research is titled “The influence of the bacterial endophyte Burkholderia phytofirmans (strain PsJN) on growth, leaf gas exchange and drought tolerance.”
  • Casey Setash, a sophomore majoring in wildlife science in the College of Natural Resources and Environment. Her research is titled “Wing morphology and foraging stratification in forest-dwelling birds.”
  • Winston Becker of Advance, N.C., a sophomore majoring in engineering science and mechanics in the College of Engineering. His research is titled “Advancing tissue engineering through a mechanical characterization of the insect respiratory system.”
  • Stephanie Welch of Cranford, N.J., a junior majoring in civil and environmental engineering in the College of Engineering. Her research is titled “Calibration of real-time water quality monitoring instruments.”
  • Laura Craig of Yorktown, Va., a junior majoring in public and urban affairs: urbanization planning and policy in the College of Architecture and Urban Studies. Her research is titled “Obesity and income within the Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News MSA.”
  • Daniel Wainless, a junior majoring in industrial design in the College of Architecture and Urban Studies. His research is on “Medical transportation chair.”
  • Kenneth Black of Virginia Beach, Va. and Ross McFarland of Newport News, Va., both seniors majoring in architecture in the College of Architecture and Urban Studies, will co-present. Their research is titled “Reshape, inform, inspire: Pallet reuse as a design medium.”
  • Andrew Hall of Christiansburg, Va., a junior majoring in biological sciences in the College of Science. His research is titled “Identify-Y: A novel computational method for the discovery of Y chromosome sequences.”
  • Arielle Grim McNally of Roanoke, Va., a senior majoring in mathematics in the College of Science. Her research is titled “Improving the near diagonal dominance of slater matrices for insulators.”

The annual ACC Meetings of the Minds Conference has become an opportunity for universities in the conference to highlight the diversity of research work being completed by undergraduates and for students to share their work with peers. Students present their work in one of three formats: oral presentations, posters, or models and exhibits. The conference is funded, in part, by revenue from athletic events.

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 225 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $496 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.