OWU’s Student-Scientists Share Findings

Annual symposium showcases breadth, depth of undergraduate research experiences

OWU senior Kristen Lear explains her research project on “Preferences in Bat House Design: Implications for Bat Conservation and Ecosystem Services” during this year’s Summer Science Research Symposium on September 20. (Photo by Suzanne Samin ’13)

Ohio Wesleyan University was abuzz with science activity September 20 as OWU students, faculty, guests, and visiting high school students converged to learn about student research conducted over the summer.

“There were so many people at the symposium,” says Rachel Bowes ’11, who presented the results of her research about the behavior of the Three-spined Stickleback (fish). “Because there were so many people, everything went by so fast! It was great getting to share what I spent my summer doing with so many curious and interested people.” Bowes, who is from Glen Ellyn, Illinois, was mentored by Shala Hankison ’95, Ph.D., assistant professor of zoology.

The 18th annual Patricia Belt Conrades Summer Science Research Symposium featured poster presentations explained by the 38 OWU students who conducted the research. In addition, posters were presented by five students and faculty from other universities who conducted research here with OWU faculty members under the National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates/Teachers program.

“At Ohio Wesleyan, these students are the central researchers in their projects,” says Barbara Andereck, Ph.D., director of this year’s Summer Science Research Program.

“They participate in all the steps of the research project, taking ownership of the successes, the failures, and the knowledge gained,” adds Andereck, also OWU’s associate dean for academic affairs and a professor of physics and astronomy.

Projects presented included both on- and off-campus research (some of which was funded by OWU’s new theory to practice grants).

The Summer Science Symposium was renamed the Patricia Belt Conrades Summer Science Research Symposium in 2006, when Nancy Reynolds Schneider ’64 established an endowment to name the symposium after her good friend and fellow OWU alumna, Patricia Belt Conrades ’63. Conrades and Schneider share a commitment to, and have had successful careers in, the sciences.

Learn more about the Summer Science Research Program.

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