Mount Aloysius College symposium emphasizes research

CRESSON – Students wielding months of research converged at Mount Aloysius College’s ninth annual undergraduate research symposium.

“It’s a forum for undergrad students who conducted primary or secondary research throughout this academic year, to present their research to faculty and peers,” science and mathematics professor Natalie Van Breukelen said.

“Faculty members mingle, and if they see a poster they are interested in, they will ask,” she said.

There were 80 posters displaying research by students on economics, education, natural sciences and psychology. Specific research projects ranged from the effect of Bush era tax cuts to the risks of overmedicating America’s youth.

“For the most part you see here, the natural sciences, medical fields, economics,” 22-year-old science student Chris Arena said. “It’s good to get exposure to all these different majors.”

His research was on the impact of abandoned mine drainage on certain forms of algae in Pennsylvania streams.

Mount Aloysius President Tom Foley examined the students’ research on display. He was impressed that students had answers to any question he asked of their research.

“The excitement here is this is all about experiential learning,” he said. “They can sit in a classroom. They can read their textbooks, but when you actually challenge them to go out to do an experiment and test a hypothesis, you can see when you talk to them, that they are very excited. They are telling us something that they learned and that they taught themselves.”

Mirror Staff Writer Russ O’Reilly is at 946-7435.