For five and a half hours on April 21, the McGinley Center’s top floor was transformed into a hub of research-oriented activity.
The third annual Fordham College at Rose Hill Undergraduate Research Symposium featured more than 150 students from 25 academic disciplines who presided over lectures and poster boards spread throughout the student center ballroom, commons and lounges.
Sophomores, juniors and seniors who have done research with faculty mentors in the humanities, sciences and social sciences had a chance to present their findings in a setting that—while focused on academics—had a celebratory feel to it.
Many of the students’ projects were rooted in the sciences. Gregory Russo, a junior majoring in environmental science, presented “Managing Infestation of the Viburnum Leaf Beetle,” which he worked on at the New York Botanical Garden, while Alison Cucco, a senior biology major, presented “Urbanization Effects on Nitrogen Cycling and Plant Growth.”
Asmaou Diallo, a sophomore chemistry major, showed that research is not limited to upperclassmen, with a presentation titled “On the Chemical Evolution of Peptides: Polymerization of Glutamic Acid in Clathrates II: Urea and Hydro Quinon.”
Joseph M. McShane, S.J. president of Fordham, commended the students, saying that they had advanced the cause of learning, and had exhibited the traits necessary to create knowledge.
“I want to remind you that what you have achieved should now become a hunger,” Father McShane said. “You know how good it feels to have created new knowledge. May this sense of achievement become a hunger for you that drives you forward so that you are never again satisfied merely receiving knowledge.”
Michael Latham, Ph.D., interim dean of Fordham College at Rose Hill, said that while there were some aspects of research that were lonely, that is not the only trait.
“We often have, in our minds, a somewhat romantic and somewhat misplaced view of what research is about,” Latham said.
“At its best, research is something that we do in a community, that the production of knowledge is something that takes place in a community. This event is a fitting reflection of that kind of community spirit between our students, our faculty, our alumni and our guests who are all here to support and understand and learn more.”