Eight Virginia Tech students will present their undergraduate research and scholarship at the eighth annual ACC Meeting of the Minds Conference, hosted this year at the University of Pittsburgh April 3-5, 2014.

Each of the 15 ACC member schools will send student representatives. Selection to represent Virginia Tech was competitive. Students from each college submitted an application to the assistant provost for undergraduate academic affairs and the associate academic dean and/or designated committee in each college.

The selected students and projects include

  • Brandon Amos, a senior in University Honors majoring in computer science in the College of Engineering. His faculty mentor is Layne Watson, professor of computer science. His research is titled, “Fortran 95 implementation of QNSTOP for global and stochastic optimization.”
  • Kristen Fread, a senior in University Honors majoring in biochemistry in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Her faculty mentor is Daniel Capelluto, associate professor of biological sciences and affiliated faculty at Fralin Life Science Institute. Her research is titled, “Adaptor proteins in the endosomal pathway: Tom1’s modulation on Tollip’s function.”
  • Lucas Kane of Herndon, Va., a senior majoring in human nutrition, foods, and exercise in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. His faculty mentor is Eva Schmelz, associated professor of human nutrition, foods, and exercise and affiliated faculty at Fralin Life Science Institute. His research is titled, “Analysis of NMDA receptor subunit ligand binding domain interactions in multiple conformations by molecular dynamics simulations.”
  • Andrea Ledesma of McLean, Va., a senior in University Honors majoring in history in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences. Her faculty mentor is Marian Mollin, associate professor of history. Her research is titled, “Keep up the fight: Eudora Ramsay Richardson and the evolution of feminism after suffrage.”
  • Corinne Mayer of Alexandria, Va., a senior in University Honors majoring in biological sciences in the College of Science. Her faculty mentor is Dana Hawley, associate professor of biological sciences and affiliated faculty at Fralin Life Science Institute. Her research is titled, “Contraction of Mycoplasma gallisepticum negatively affects anti-predator behavior in house finches.”
  • Taylor Moran of Virginia Beach, Va., a senior majoring in communication in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences. Her faculty mentor is Nancy Metz, professor of English. Her research is titled, “Reading Marion Halcombe: The heroine as physiognomical text in Wilkie Collin’s ‘The Woman in White.’”
  • Matthew Rosati of Herndon, Va., a senior majoring in biological sciences in the College of Science. His faculty mentor is Mike Klemba, associate professor of biochemistry and affiliated faculty at Fralin Life Science Institute. His research is titled, “Characterizing the roles of two S1 cap residues in determining the substrate specificity of a malarial M1-family animopeptidase.”
  • Elizabeth (Jade) Womack, a senior in University Honors majoring in international studies in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences. Her faculty mentor is Peter Wallenstein, professor of history. Her research is titled, “Breast is best: A case study of advertising techniques of infant formula post-Nestlé boycott (1984-).”

“This conference is a wonderful way to showcase the amazing research and scholarship being performed by our undergraduate students and share that hard work with our peers,” said Jill Sible, assistant provost for undergraduate education. “Beyond the research itself, presenting at conferences like this one allows students the real-world experience of explaining the research process and their end results.”

Students present their work either through oral presentations, posters, or models and exhibits. The conference is funded, in part, by revenue from ACC athletic events.

Other students interested in sharing their undergraduate research and creative scholarship are encouraged to apply for the 2014 Virginia Tech Undergraduate Research Conference, which will be held Friday, April 18, at the Graduate Life Center. The deadline to apply online is March 14.

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.