Ohio Wesleyan Science Students Present at Five-State Conference

Students Share Neuroscience Projects at Midwest/Great Lakes Undergraduate Research Symposium

Ohio Wesleyan senior Kellie Gross was one of six OWU students to share research findings at the recent Midwest/Great Lakes Undergraduate Research Symposium. Gross spent the summer at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., working as a research assistant in cellular neurobiology. (Photo courtesy of Jennifer Yates)

DELAWARE, OH – Six Ohio Wesleyan University students made neuroscience research presentations Oct. 22 at the third annual Midwest/Great Lakes Undergraduate Research Symposium. The regional event drew students from colleges and universities in Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Indiana and Kentucky.

While the first two symposia were held at Ohio Wesleyan, this year’s event was held at The College of Wooster. It featured a conversation with Diane Witt, Ph.D., of the National Science Foundation and a keynote address from A. Courtney DeVries, Ph.D., of The Ohio State University, who discussed “Social Influences on the Brain.”

Ohio Wesleyan students making poster presentations at the symposium were seniors Jacob Dodd of Lorain, Ohio; Kellie Gross of Pemberville, Ohio; Anna Hoffman of Knoxville, Tenn.; Sharif Kronemer of Silver Spring, Md.; and Katelyn Marchal of Bryan, Ohio, and junior Megan McConnell of Painesville Township, Ohio.

McConnell’s poster, “A Neuroscience Model of Music Learning,” shared information gleaned from studying how the brain learns to be musical. The research was conducted with Ohio Wesleyan faculty mentor Richard Edwards, Ph.D., an assistant professor of music education. Edwards and McConnell also presented their findings at the recent “Neuroscience and Music IV: Learning and Memory” conference in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Gross shared research results from a summer spent at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., where she worked as a research assistant in cellular neurobiology. Her work involved studying how to prevent secondary damage after spinal cord injury.

Dodd, Hoffman, Kronemer, Marchal, and Gross presented the results of research conducted at Ohio Wesleyan with faculty mentor Jennifer Yates, Ph.D. The students worked with Yates, an assistant professor of psychology, to determine how better to measure the impact of spinal cord injury and its treatments. Their work also will be presented in November at the Society for Neuroscience meeting in Washington, D.C.

Yates said events such as the Midwest/Great Lakes Undergraduate Research Symposium and upcoming Society for Neuroscience meeting allow students to network with others interested in neuroscience and to become comfortable sharing and discussing the latest research.

“It was so nice to see the meeting flourish after its first two years here at OWU,” said Yates, who also serves as the director of Ohio Wesleyan’s David O. Robbins Neuroscience Program. “Our students represented OWU and their respective labs so well and learned about post-graduate study and job opportunities. As a faculty participant, I was really engaged by discussions of research funding. What a great meeting!”

In addition to the six students who made poster presentations, five additional Ohio Wesleyan students attended the Oct. 22 conference, Yates said. Those students were senior Laura Bowes of Willoughby Hills, Ohio; freshman T.J. Clark of Martinsburg, Penn.; junior Clare Edwards of Loveland, Ohio; junior Victoria Sellers of Aurora, Mo.; and senior Simone Vessel of West Chester, Ohio.

Learn more about the Midwest/Great Lakes Undergraduate Research Symposium at https://sites.google.com/a/owu.edu/mglurs/Home. Learn more about Ohio Wesleyan’s neuroscience program at http://neuroscience.owu.edu.

Ohio Wesleyan University is one of the nation’s premier small, private universities, with more than 90 undergraduate majors, sequences, and courses of study, and 23 NCAA Division III varsity sports. Located in Delaware, Ohio, just minutes north of Ohio’s capital and largest city, Columbus, the university combines a globally focused curriculum with off-campus learning and leadership opportunities that translate classroom theory into real-world practice. OWU’s close-knit community of 1,850 students represents 47 states and 57 countries. Ohio Wesleyan was named to the 2010 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with distinction, is featured in the book “Colleges That Change Lives,” and is included on the “best colleges” lists of U.S. News & World Report and The Princeton Review. Learn more at www.owu.edu.

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