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Students and Faculty Attend 14th Annual Statewide Undergraduate Research Conference

May 12, 2008
By: Worcester State University News

More than a dozen WSC students, sponsored by eight faculty members in five different departments, participated in the 14th Annual Massachusetts Undergraduate Research Conference, held at UMass Amherst on May 2.

     Kristine Bielecki’s poster presentation, sponsored by Professor Peter Bradley (Biology), was on “Spider Silk Structures as Seen with the Scanning Electron Microscope.” William Brideau, sponsored by Professor Eihab Jaber (Chemistry), gave a presentation on “Hydrogen Bonding Formations via Cyanuric Acid/Melamine Complexes.” Economics major Christopher Hescock, sponsored by William O’Brien (Economics), gave a talk on “Male Life Expectancy: A GlobalPerspective,” and on the same panel, Manoj Jonna, sponsored by Professor Bonnie Orcutt (Economics), gave an early presentation of his research on  “Worcester’s Unbanked: Trends and Characteristics.” Also sponsored by Professor Orcutt, Aaron Kohl, Lindsey Gustafson, and Manoj Jonna presented “Microfinance: Prospects for Prosperity,” an overview of the ongoing Worcester State College microfinance project in Nicaragua.

Occupational Therapy students Alycia Barney, Kathleen Lynch, Sarah Clement, and Kristin Gajda gave an oral presentation and slideshow on their service learning project in Nicaragua, led by Jacqueline Brennan (Occupational Therapy), “An Exploration of Healthcare Settings in Nicaragua to Assess the Need for Occupational Therapy Services.”

The Psychology Department was also well represented at the conference. Haley Duncanson, sponsored by Professor Brandi Scruggs (Psychology),presented “Comparison of Reaction Times for Localization of a Color Stimulus Following a Mood Induction Procedure.”  Michelle Giddens, also sponsored by Professor Scruggs,  presented “Feature Contrast Effects on Salience as Measured by Reaction Time.” Paula Edmonds, sponsored by Professor Emily Soltano (Psychology), presented “The Effect of Self-reference and Irrelevant Sound on Memory for Faces.”

Unfortunately Economics major Heather Chou, sponsored by Professor O’Brien, who had prepared a paper on “Oil Shock: The Federal Reserve’s Evil Twin,” was unable to attend the conference due to a family illness.

Josna Rege of the Department of Languages and Literature served as the WSC campus contact for the conference. Professor Rege would like to congratulate all the students who participated in this inspiring event, and thank their sponsors for their encouragement and guidance.

Submitted by Josna Rege, Ph.D.

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