On Friday, May 3 2013, Frostburg State University played host to its annual Undergraduate Research Symposium. The event, which was held in the University’s ARMAH located in the Lane Center, featured the research of numerous undergraduate students and their professors. Held from ten am to two pm, guests were allowed to come at any point within the time frame to view the work that the students had spent the entire year working on.
Upon entering the ARMAH, one could see the various research poster aligned throughout the entire room. While refreshments were provided by the school’s food company Aramark were located in the back of the room, the posters took over the majority of the space, allowing for the showcase of just how many students were participating. Given nametags, each student stood proudly in front of their poster as guests made of faculty and students alike, roamed throughout the room, stopping at posters that they found interesting.
Some students could be seen presenting their work to those who stopped before them, gesturing proudly to the posters on display featuring all kinds of images in graphs. Senior chemistry major Elizabeth Nelson, successfully presented her project to many different faculty members including the chair of the chemistry department: Dr. Robert Larivee. Nelson’s research was on determining the amount of benzoic acid and caffeine in common beverages and comparing them to the listed amounts found on the drink’s can or bottle. The drinks she tested included Pepsi and Red Bull energy drinks.
|Elizabeth Nelson stands next to her poster at the symposium.|
In her explanation, sheexplained that “some of the drinks did not match the amount of caffeine listed on the can.” Dr. Larivee’s questions revolved around chemistry as he asked her “what could [she] use to extract the caffeine from the drinks.” After a moment of though, Nelson confidently answered “hexane.” Larivee confirmed that she was correct.
Other posters focused on things other than science research. Dr. Sydney Duncan’s English 402 class, Editing and Production, showcased a poster on the experience that the students have in the class. The class spends an entire semester working on a magazine that will be printed at the end of the year. The magazine is entirely done by the students including everything from layout to the actual articles themselves. The poster featured pages from past magazine done by students.
Along with the poster, the showcase also featured a video which showed students explaining reasons why they enjoyed the class. The interactive presentation attracted many students to the table as they would stand and watch the video in its entirety.
Overall, the symposium seemed to be enjoyed by all who attended. Presenter Edwin Holandez, junior IT major, was pleased with his experience as a first time attendee. “It felt good to show off all the hard work that we’ve been doing all year.” Based on the atmosphere and attitude of the other student presenters, Holandez’s opinion of the symposium was shared by all.