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11/16/2004 Linfield students to present science research

McMINNVILLE – Linfield College science students will present research at the 13th Regional Conference on Undergraduate Research of the Murdock College Science Research Program at Lewis and Clark College Nov. 19 and 20.

The annual conference spotlights student and faculty collaborative science research funded by the Murdock College Science Research Program. Linfield students will give oral and poster presentations, and have a chance to compare their work with research by peers from other institutions.

"The conference gives students a sense of belonging to a scientific community much larger than themselves," said Jim Diamond, professor of chemistry at Linfield. "It gives them an opportunity to compare their work to that of their peers elsewhere in the science community and that’s the real plus."

Linfield students work closely with faculty members during the summer and the academic year on projects ranging from nuclear physics to population biology. The projects are primarily those that faculty members develop as part of their own programs of professional activity. And while faculty benefit from student contributions, students benefit by learning the theory and practice of science in a collaborative setting, said Mike Roberts, professor of biology.

"Putting the final touches to a poster or an oral presentation gives students a real sense of what it is that scientists do, and many of them go on to careers in clinical work or research after Linfield," Roberts said.

With a supportive environment of faculty and students, the conference is one of the best undergraduate research experiences for science students, according to Joelle Murray, professor of physics at Linfield. She said students often don’t realize what they’ve accomplished in their projects.

"They tend to think the results are obvious, when in reality they’ve become mini-experts in their areas," she noted.

Two Linfield students, senior Fayaz Seifuddin and junior Paul Canepa, will give oral presentations. In addition, a number of students will present posters. Biology students include juniors Evan Peebles, Nicholas Westfall and Jennifer Dyck, and senior Lindsay Aney. Chemistry students include juniors Molly Corbari, Hannah Arntz, Theresa Crecelias and Angeline Severson, and seniors Robert Osten, Kate Dunlap and Catherine Dondlinger. Physics students include seniors Justin Johnson, Andrew Thron and Tristan Hay.