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Students Present Research at Symposium in Philippines

Third International Undergraduate Research Symposium Draws 500 Students and Faculty

January 26, 2010

(ABOVE) Andrew Ramsey presents his research poster in the Philippines while (BELOW) Jessica Veite fields questions from her international peers.

(ABOVE) Andrew Ramsey presents his research poster in the Philippines while (BELOW) Jessica Veite fields questions from her international peers.

Two Wilmington College students had an opportunity to present their research on an international stage as participants in the third International Undergraduate Research Symposium held earlier this month in the Philippines.

Dr. Alfred R. Conklin, Jr., professor of chemistry and agriculture, accompanied junior Jessica Veite, a chemistry and biology major, and E. Andrew Ramsey, a junior majoring in majoring in agriculture, to the symposium hosted by the Department of Pure and Applied Chemistry at Visayas State University near Baybay Leyte, Philippines.

Conklin, who also presented original research, is a founder of the symposium, which was held in Ecuador and at Wilmington College the previous two years. IURS is affiliated with the Fulbright Academy of Science and Technology.

Nearly 500 students and faculty members attended the event.

Veite presented a poster on her research on Bisophernol A, which is an organic compound used in the plastics industry. Many believe it is hazardous to humans.

Ramsey gave a poster presentation on inter-seeding legumes with corn, while Conklin presented a paper on agricultural sustainability.

The presentation of posters and oral papers spanned two days, and involved students observing 20 posters and questioning poster authors. Interspersed among the proceedings were four lectures on subjects pertaining to the isolation and effectiveness of plant-derived medicinal compounds.

Students from WC and Visayas also attended two workshops, on one on experimental design and one on producing Web pages.

Veite and Ramsey engaged in educational tours of a pineapple plantation, sugar mill, copper smelting plant and the world’s second largest geothermal electricity generating plant located near Ormoc City on Leyte. They also joined VSU students in swimming pool, beach and snorkeling activities.

Ramsey said the international experience was “exceptional.”

“Students had the opportunity to not only explore one another’s cultures, but also connect through research done throughout the world.”

One of his Philippine counterparts, Ronald Arlet P. Villaber, a senior at VSU, concurred.

I’ve gained a lot of scientific knowledge and ideas from the different research presentations as well as from the posters that were presented,” he said. “I also had the chance to visit different industries in the locality, which was really awesome and informative.”