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Students to Showcase Their Work at Undergraduate Research Symposium on Feb. 12

Old Dominion University students will showcase more than 40 presentations in the areas of physics, psychology, art history, biology, political science and geography during the third annual Undergraduate Research Symposium Saturday, Feb. 12. The event, which will be held from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the Diehn Fine and Performing Arts Center, provides undergraduates with the opportunity to present their research projects in a public forum.

Ivan Ash, director of undergraduate research for the ODU Honors College and assistant professor of psychology, said this event offers students an opportunity to showcase the skills that employers and graduate programs hope to find in candidates. "This symposium allows students to show that they can learn material as well as integrate it into practical applications, which will be critical in their future as they further their education or enter the workforce," said Ash. "ODU provides opportunities for students to partner with academic mentors, perform real research and produce amazing work."

Gary W. Miller '89 (M.S. '92), professor of neurology and pharmacology and associate dean for research at Emory University's School of Public Health, will share the importance of undergraduate research during his keynote speech. A two-time graduate of Old Dominion, Miller currently researches the environmental and genetic factors involved in neurological diseases.

Following the keynote, three sessions of presentations will be held on the following topics: "The Effects of Parental Alcohol Abuse on College Student Drinking Problems," "Engineering Better Lives," "Solar Decathlon: Engineering and Sustainability," "Physics, GeoPhysics, and Environmental Optics Research at ODU" and "New Directions in Undergraduate Art History Research." ODU's 2010 undergraduate grant recipients will also present their findings in two separate sessions. The day will conclude with a reception and ODU student poster presentations. Paintings and sculptures by undergraduate students will also be on display.

"This symposium shows that, as a university, ODU values research at all levels and provides students with a variety of opportunities," said Ash. "It's a tremendously exciting thing."

A new initiative at the ODU, the Undergraduate Research Program, which is supported by the Office of Academic Affairs and the Honors College, is designed to promote, support and fund the involvement of undergraduate students in the active research community.

The event is free and open to the public, but attendees are asked to register at http://www.odu.edu/ao/honors/urp/Symposium.shtml.

This article was posted on: January 26, 2011

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