Students present work at Annual Spring Symposium

Nicholson Library was filled with chatter and posters May 17, as students stood side by side with their posters, discussing the implications of their projects at Linfield’s 21st Annual Science and Social Symposium.

Students from all years and majors who have conducted research this year presented their work at the symposium.

The projects ranged from gene manipulations to engineering to societal issues, and were judged by various judges.

Examples of projects included ones such as the project by freshmen Katie Rees, Austin Browning and Riley Self, who worked on a project that tested Ribonucleic Acid (RNA) silencing.

They placed a florescent gene from a jelly fish called Green Florescent Protein into a fruit fly.

This is an ongoing study with the results hoping to be collected by the end of the summer.

“If genes are in fact silenced, then there are several genes in our bodies that are not expressed,” Rees said. “We could use this idea to change the mutated genes by the RNA silencing process.”

Junior Mary Depner had the same idea. She worked alongside Rees, Browning, and self manipulating fruit fly genes.

Depner added additional criteria to her study; she focused on Target of Rapamycin (TOR).

“TOR integrates signals from numerous cell-signaling pathways, responding to the presence of insulin, growth factors and amino acids,” Depner said.

Depner is working to discover if TOR plays an important role for microRNA functioning.

Further down the hall stood Linfield graduate Jenna Johnson and colleagues. Their project focused on advertisement effects on women.

This study began last year, and finished this year with three studies.

The studies focused on how women felt after viewing an advertisement.

Johnson concluded from the research that women felt more negative and focused more on their body type.

Students at Linfield have put a lot of time and effort into all these projects with the hopes of finding a cause to something.

Faculty from all departments supported these students so that they could have access to resources and an advisor to help them along the way.

Shelby Porter

For the Review

Shelby Porter can be reached at