The 2021 Virginia Academy of Science Undergraduate Research Meeting was held at Hampden-Sydney College in Farmville, VA. The purpose of this meeting is to showcase student research taking place across the commonwealth. UMW biology students Kristin Haes , Rachel Myrick, and Katie Warlick all participated in the symposium where, alongside almost 60 other students from other universities, they presented their research to four judges each, comprised of faculty from a variety of in-state colleges and universities as well as well as professional scientists from Dahlgren and other private and governmental agencies. Haes also gave a lightning talk that showcased her research project. In addition to the symposium, the students had the opportunity to witness a fascinating keynote speech on climate change and heat mapping, as well as ask questions in a career panel and watch other students present their research. The day concluded with an award ceremony, where Rachel and Katie both received honorable mentions in their categories, and Kristin was awarded a grant for her project. After returning from their busy weekend, the students commented:
While presenting was certainly intimidating, the conference served as wonderful experience for future presentations we will give once we’ve concluded our research at the end of the academic year, provided us with questions and ideas to take back and put into practice here at UMW, and was a unique way to interface and network with other students, faculty, and notable researchers in STEM from across the state. All in all, we loved our experience and would highly recommend it to anyone conducting research!
Haes, Myrick, and Warlick have been mentored in their research by Dr. Parrish Waters.