Students present research at conference

At the end of October, eight Geneseo students presented research at the Northeast Undergraduate Research Conference, held by the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges.

The conference was held at Keene State College in Keene, N.H., and students from five other colleges were also in attendance.

Representing Geneseo at the conference were: Daniel Bailey, a senior history major; Paul Fallot, a senior history major; Marissa Fariello, a senior English and French double major; Kaitlyn Gayvert, a senior mathematics major; Paul Muniz, a junior sociology major; Gabrielle Thomas, a senior communication major; Michaela Walsh, a psychology and sociology double major; and Shana Wierchowski, a senior anthropology major with a pre-med concentration.

Each student was nominated and chosen by their respective department.

The students presented a variety of topics, from the secrets within Mongolian history to the debate of whether or not the homeless should be housed.

Students from the University of Maine Farmington, Eastern Connecticut State University, Ramapo College of New Jersey, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts and Keene State College also attended the conference.

Alumna Patricia Hamilton-Rodgers '85 accompanied the students to the conference, and was in charge of coordinating with the department heads to choose students for the conference.

"It was a pleasure to go with our students to Keene, N.H.," Hamilton-Rodgers said. "The Geneseo students were highly engaged and incredibly supportive of each other."

The first day of the conference consisted of a welcome dinner and the first round of presentations – either in poster form or an artistic performance.

The second day was broken up into three different time slots of paper presentations, where students created PowerPoints based on their research papers. After each presentation, the students were given feedback on their research from faculty in the field. When they weren't presenting, students had the opportunity to watch presentations from fields other than their own.

"The biggest thing for me was getting to know the other students from different disciplines," Wierchowski said. She said she saw this as a nice contrast to Geneseo Recognizing Excellence, Achievement and Talent Day in that instead of going to see what their friends or people within their major did, they got to see a wide variety of presentations from all different fields.

"It's easy to get focused on what you're doing and how you see things, but this conference allowed me to take a step back and see things from other angles," Thomas said.

"Everyone was excited about their research," Gayvert said. She described it as "different than just daily conversation."

Both Thomas and Wierchowski stated that overall, they felt the work presented by Geneseo's students at the conference was the strongest, and proved that at the undergraduate level, Geneseo upholds high standards when it comes to research.