The Office of Undergraduate Research sent six students to the 12th Annual Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Meeting of the Minds Conference, held on the campus of Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, March 31 to April 2.
Funded by ACC athletics, the Meeting of the Minds conference demonstrates both the collaborative relationship that exists between athletics and academics and the conference’s commitment to excellence in education. The annual meeting offers an opportunity for all 15 ACC member schools to come together to recognize and celebrate undergraduate students’ achievements in research and creative scholarship.
Virginia Tech students who presented this year were selected based on their performances at the Dennis Dean Undergraduate Research and Creative Scholarship Conference held at Virginia Tech in March. They are:
- Kelly Cooper, of Chesterfield, Virginia, a senior majoring in history in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences. She gave an oral presentation titled, “The Illumination of the York Minster and St. Patrick's Cathedral: Two Preservation Approaches.” Her mentor is
- LaDale Winling, an assistant professor in the history department.
- Lauren Delbridge, of Wilkesboro, North Carolina, a senior majoring in landscape architecture in the College of Architecture and Urban Studies. She gave a poster presentation titled, “Coal Ash Wastescape: Designed Remediation of Chesterfield Power Station's Coal Ash Ponds.” Her mentor is Wendy Jacobson, an associate professor of landscape architecture in the School of Architecture + Design.
- Allison Moser, of Ashburn, Virginia, a senior majoring in wildlife conservation in the College of Natural Resources and Environment. She gave a poster presentation titled, “Use of camera traps to survey Sylvilagus spp. in high-elevation habitats in the southern Appalachians.” Her mentor is Dr. Mark Ford, an associate professor in the Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation.
- Amy Plechacek of Boyd, Wisconson, a senior majoring in Geosciences in the College of Science. She gave a poster presentation titled, “Trace Element Analysis of Pyrites in Gas Shales by Laser Ablation ICP-MS: Implications for Mobility.” Her mentor is Madeline Schreiber in the Department of Geosciences.
- Megan Richardson, of Virginia Beach, Virginia, a senior majoring in biochemistry in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the College of Science. She gave a poster presentation titled, “Assessing the Influence of Flavonoids in Attenuating β-strand Fibril Formation of Islet Amyloid Polypeptide by Molecular Dynamics Simulations.” Her mentor is David Bevan, professor in the Department of Biochemistry.
- Austin Wozniak, of Chesapeake, Virginia, a junior majoring in biological systems engineering, a degree program split between the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the College of Engineering. He gave an oral presentation titled, “Water scavenging in Appalachia.” His mentor is biological systems engineering Assistant Professor Leigh-Anne Krometis.
“Conferences like Meeting of the Minds allow students to share and defend their work with a broad audience of peers and professionals,” said Keri Swaby, coordinator of the Office of Undergraduate Research. “This forces students to be very thoughtful and intentional about their communication. They need to understand their subject matter at such a level that they are able to break it down to its essence and communicate effectively to a lay person. This particular conference is small enough and planned in such a way that students really get the chance to network and interact with each other, making it both informative and a lot of fun.”
Applications to represent Virginia Tech at the ACC Meeting of the Minds open annually at the beginning of the spring semester. Presenters’ travel, room, and board are fully supported.
Information about this and other opportunities for undergraduate students to conduct and present research can be found on the website of the Office of Undergraduate Research.
Written by Melissa Ripepi