SSRS Ready to Awe and Inspire!

Summer Science Research Symposium Set for Sept. 16
OWU’s annual Summer Science Research Symposium draws a great crowd. (Photo by Mark Schmitter ’12)

OWU’s annual Summer Science Research Symposium draws a great crowd. (Photo by Mark Schmitter ’12)

The Patricia Belt Conrades Summer Science Research Symposium (SSRS) is less than a week away. The students who had been working on their projects all summer long are finally going to put their research results out for everyone to see.

The symposium will take place in the atrium of Schimmel/Conrades Science Center on  September 16, from noon to 1 p.m.

There will be 34 posters presented at this year’s SSRS, including projects from students who worked with professors from OWU and professors from other universities, as well as those who worked entirely off-campus. There are also going to be posters by students from other universities who got the opportunity to work with our faculty members.

The Summer Science Research Program (SSRP) gives the students a platform to conduct research on their preferred subject matter alongside experts in the fields.

“The SSRP provides students an opportunity to think like a real scientist,” says Dr. Laura Tuhela-Reuning, assistant director of the SSRP.

Tuhela-Reuning also explains how the SSRP has grown in the last 20 years. There are more students and faculty members who are getting involved and students are more enthusiastic than ever.

A few notable ones among numerous amazing projects include: Jessica Martin ’14 and Thin Nu Yee’s ’15 research on the relationship between stress and memory loss, Mary Ann Lee’s ’14 research on CO2  level in ocean affecting sea life, and Sam Sonnega ’14 and Mariam Ibourk’s ’14 research on major histocompatibility complex (MHC).

When asked about what happens during the 10-week process, both professors and students tell us that there’s extensive reading, lots of experimenting and plenty of other research-based work.

The students who worked here over the summer say it was the opportunity of a lifetime.

“What makes the SSRP different is how real it is. There’s no pre-fixed result and reason like there would be for the average lab work; everything is uncertain,” says Khoa T. Lam ’16, who worked on an independent study this year, “That’s what being a scientist is about, discovering things on your own.”

To those students who are interested in participating in next year’s SSRP, Tuhela-Reuning says that sophomores and juniors are given priority—and communication is the key, “Talk to your professors, talk to other students and explore your interests.” She also recommends keeping good grades in science courses.

Ohio Wesleyan University provides this innovative opportunity for students every year—to go beyond the usual learning system and do in-depth research on areas that are of interest to them.

We are all waiting to be awed by this year’s research on September 16th!

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