Six Students Represent Tech at the 2009 Meeting of the Minds

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Karen E. Harwell, Ph.D.
Director, Undergraduate Research

Each April undergraduate students from the twelve universities composing the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) athletic association gather to present their research. This year, the fourth annual Meeting of the Minds conference was held at North Carolina State University (NCSU) in Raleigh, NC, April 2-4, 2009. More than 65 students from conference schools gave either poster or oral presentations on a variety of topics including international relations, public policy, biological science, nursing and chemistry. Georgia Tech was exceptionally well-represented this year by six students in varying fields of study:

Elizabeth Fleming, Aerospace Engineering (Mentor: Dr. Joseph Saleh)

Yue Geng, Chemistry (Mentor: Dr. David Sherrill)

Steve Hsieh, Chemistry (Mentor: Dr. Raquel Lieberman)

Paul Jurek, Mechanical Engineering (Mentor: Dr. Bill Singhose)

Gabrielle Sirow, Industrial Engineering (Mentor: Dr. Ruth Uwaifo)

Taylor Tomassi, Material Science Engineering (Mentor: Dr. Valeria Milam)

During the two-day event, students attended presentations and discussion sessions led by their peers from other universities. Georgia Tech representative Gabby Sirow shared with the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) office her experience at the conference: “I really enjoyed the ACC research conference because I was able to learn a lot about cutting-edge research being done by students in other fields. Even in technical fields like biochemistry and aerospace engineering, all student presenters were able to explain their research in a way that everyone could understand.”

NCSU hosted a Friday evening banquet at the North Carolina Museum of Art. The highlight of the evening was a presentation by NCSU faculty member Dr. Mary Schweitzer, an associate professor in Marine, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, who shared recent results from her research on the soft tissues in T. Rex bones. Coordinator of the ACC Inter-institutional Academic Collaborative (ACCIAC), Dr. Dave Brown, provost emeritus of Wake Forest University, shared his thoughts on the importance of research with students, providing an inspirational message for the attendees. The conference concluded with a luncheon talk by NCSU professor, Dr. John Cavanaugh on his research in bacteria protection and antibiotic resistance.

Chemistry student Yue Geng summed up her experience, “The ACC Meeting of the Minds Conference is truly a multi-disciplinary gathering for undergraduate researchers: the breadth of topics ranged from humanities to science and engineering. I enjoyed meeting and learning from many enthusiastic peers and I was especially inspired by Professor Schweitzer.”

The ACC IAC is funded is by a portion of the revenue generated from the ACC football championship game and hosts the Meeting of the Minds annual undergraduate research conference and other programs to support academics at constituent institutions.

Watch for additional details next year, as Georgia Tech hosts the 5th annual conference at the Georgia Tech Global Learning Center!


  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created By: Rachael Pocklington
  • Created: 05/03/2009
  • Modified By: Fletcher Moore
  • Modified: 10/07/2016

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