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Biology Prominent at 2017 PURC

COMPASS students presented their research at the 11th Annual PURC Symposium (from left to right): Dakota Lee, K'Yana McLean, Cheyenne Lee, David Pedersen, Tenisha McLean, Katherine Rentschler, and Jeison Valencia. Dr. Maria Santisteban (center) is Director of the COMPASS Program.

Biology research factored prominently at the Eleventh Annual UNC Pembroke Undergraduate Research and Creativity (PURC) Symposium.  Two of three oral presentations (Katherine Rentschler and Cary Mundell) and more than 20 of the 70 research posters were given by Biology students.  The symposium began at 8:30 AM on Wednesday, 12 April 2017, in the University Annex, with greetings from Chancellor Robin Cummings and Dr. Ryan Anderson (Director of PURC).

Dr. John Roe and Joseph Nacy Dr. Conner Sandefur and Cheyenne Lee  
Sheldon Brown and Dr. Kaitlin CampbellMaria Chavez

The Sandefur Lab had the largest showing of posters -- focused mostly on the antimicrobial properties of Lumbee medicinal plants.  Students in other labs presented work in Alzheimer's Disease, box turtle ecology, genomics, ant-mite interactions, and floristics.   

Caleb Smith  Whitney Pittman
Camille Colvin and Ayanna Edwards Dr. Conner Sandefur and Lonzie Hedgepeth
For many students, the PURC Symposium is a first opportunity to formally present their work and to see other students' work, and they do so in an atmosphere that is both friendly and collegial.  Creative projects in the Arts and Humanities were also on display.

Robbie JuelKelsey Leigh
Austin LocklearDakota Lee
Frederick Feely II and Dr. Conner Sandefur David Pedersen

Biology research was funded by three UNCP programs: PURCRISE (Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement) Program, and COMPASS.  Program opportunities can include faculty mentorship, workshops, travel to conferences, and preparation for graduate school.  Program directors (Drs. Ryan Anderson of PURC, Bob Poage of RISE, and Maria Santisteban of COMPASS) were on hand to encourage students and to inquire about their research.

Kailey GodwinTyler Scoville
Dr. Robert Poage and David Pedersen Kamaria Elliott 
Tenisha McLean Jeison Valencia

The symposium concluded after Dr. Margaret D. Bauer's keynote address at 11:30 PM. Dr. Bauer is the Rives Chair of Southern Literature and Harriot College of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Professor, East Carolina University, and editor of the North Carolina Literary Review. 

Ereny Gerges

A digital program of the PURC symposium, containing the schedule and list of student presenters (and their abstracts), is available by clicking here (PDF file).  High resolution photographs of the images on this page can be seen (and downloaded) by clicking on the images.

K'Yana McLean and Dr. Conner Sandefur