Wednesday, February 1, 2017

STU Undergraduate Research Recognized in the Southeast


Six undergraduate researchers from St. Thomas University participated in the 49th Southeast Undergraduate Research Conference (SURC) at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, S.C., on Jan. 28, where STU chemistry majors Brandon Gamboa and Amanda Penton garnered Best Poster Honorable Mention.

Their research poster presentation looked at the effect of magnetic fields on oscillatory reactions. The oscillatory reaction studied, Belousov-Zhabotinsky, can be used as a model for biological oscillatory processes, such as circadian rhythm.

Students were prepared and confident thanks to the guidance of their mentors STU professors Luis Fernandez and David Quesada from the School of Science.

“The confidence exhibited by our students, along with the acquired knowledge, when presenting their posters is a valuable lesson that cannot be taught in any lecture hall or online environment,” said professors Fernandez and Quesada. “Meetings such as SURC really open our students’ eyes. They find out that they are not alone, that their peers also conduct research, and that the quality of STU research is at the same level of much larger research institutions.”

This was the first time STU participated in SURC; and the student’s posters and research content was on par with those of much larger research institutions participating, such as University of Georgia, University of South Carolina, University of Tennessee, UNC-Chapel Hill, and Ole Miss. It is at conferences like SURC where the effort of our students and faculty, and the quality of their research is rewarded with the recognition and praise from their peers.

The work was sponsored by the St. Thomas University Summer Research Institute and, in part, by U.S. Department of Education grant awards STEM-TRAC, STEM Ladder, STEP Up, and SPARC with our partners from Miami-Dade College.

Congratulations to all STU participants: Brandon Gamboa, Amanda Penton, Luis Castellar, Ana Figuereo, Christine Curiac, and Marrisa Lee.

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