The UNCP RISE program was well represented at the annual conference of the North Carolina Academy of Science, which was held 28-29 March 2014 in Raleigh. Dr. Robert Poage, co-director of the RISE program, brought nine students to the conference, several of whom presented research posters. Armando Corona and Christopher Long won the Collegiate Academy's Derieux awards for their posters. Their research was conducted in Dr. Ben Bahr's Alzheimer's Disease Research Lab. Other RISE students in attendance were Alex Foster, Carlisha Hall, Robert Lamb, Sarah Ruiz, Jordan Smink, Marsalis Smith, and Caleb Stubbs.
Conference activities included plenary and keynote addresses, workshops, oral presentations (as well as poster presentations), and an awards banquet. UNCP Biology Department chair, Dr. David Zeigler, judged conference presentations, as did biology professor, Dr. Dennis McCracken. Also present were RISE co-director and chemistry professor Sally Vallabha and Drs. Claire Gordy and Conner Sanderfur, both of whom are teaching in the UNCP Biology Department while completing postdoctoral fellowships in the SPIRE program at UNC-Chapel Hill.
The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences and its new Nature Research Center hosted the annual conference, which attracted some 350 people. "The North Carolina Academy of Science promotes public appreciation of science, science education, scientific research and a meaningful role for science in public policy."
RISE is the Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement, a National Institutes of Health (NIH) program designed to prepare undergraduate students to be the research scientists of the future. Students who wish to join the RISE program should contact Dr. Robert Poage or Prof. Sally Vallabha.