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Undergraduates Come Out of the Labs, Into the Limelight


Fordham College at Rose Hill (FCRH) hosted its first Undergraduate Research Symposium on April 16, giving students majoring in math and the sciences a chance to share their research with the larger university community.

In all, 36 undergraduates presented 33 research posters in physics, biology, mathematics, psychology, chemistry and computer and information science. According to Brennan O’Donnell, Ph.D., dean of FCRH, the symposium was designed to help foster a culture of undergraduate research and strengthen interest and support for the sciences.

Senior Marsiyana Henricus explains her research to Brennan O’Donnell, Ph.D., dean of Fordham College at Rose Hill Photo by Michael Dames

“The symposium was designed to feature the great work that is being done in our labs and to give our students and faculty an opportunity to talk across disciplines,” O’Donnell said. “Our work in strengthening science education . . . is one of the big stories in the college.”

David Carretero, a senior who presented research on the dynamics of ultracold atoms, said that the symposium brought attention to an area of strength at the University that is often overlooked by students.

“It’s good for students to be able to see what’s going on academically and not just socially,” the physics major said.

“It makes me feel like I’m leaving my mark at Fordham,” said Marsiyana Henricus, a chemistry major who found herself explaining her project on biocompatible nanotubes to a group of fascinated freshmen. “I’m a senior. I’ve spent hours in the lab researching this; it’s great to share it. If my project has made an impression on younger students, it could change the direction of their lives.”

One impetus behind the symposium, according to Donna Heald, associate dean for science education at FCRH, was to bring the student research together to foster an interdisciplinary program.

“Scientists today really work across disciplines, and truthfully, our students are doing it too,” said Heald, who oversaw the event.

Following the symposium, a committee of faculty judges presented awards to the outstanding posters.


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