UD holds first research, service celebratory symposium
Catherine Drennan of MIT was the keynote speaker for the first Undergraduate Research and Service Celebratory Symposium.
Lynnette Overby, director of UD’s Office of Undergraduate Research and Experiential Learning, welcomes guests to the symposium.
Clayton Hall was filled with posters as part of undergraduate research and service presentations.
Provost Tom Apple, right, was on hand for the symposium.
Robin Morgan, left, dean of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, discusses a poster with Kristina Barr, a student in the college.


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2:05 p.m., Aug. 12, 2010----The University of Delaware held its first Undergraduate Research and Service Celebratory Symposium on Wednesday, Aug. 11, in Clayton Hall. More than 300 undergraduate research and service scholars and visiting scholars were showcased, and the scholars represented every UD college and discipline.

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The day featured 215 poster presentations, 74 oral presentations and an exhibit by 7 student artists.

There was also a keynote lecture by Catherine Drennan, professor of chemistry at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

“I've had a great time this morning hearing about the research that's being done currently,” Drennan said. “I've heard about research going on here by undergraduates for a long time and part of the reason I was so excited to come here and give the keynote today is because I know this is a such an amazing place to do undergraduate research.”

Drennan's talk, titled “Snapshots of Proteins in Action,” centered on her work in metalloprotein biochemistry and how she is currently using X-ray crystallography to study the structures of proteins.

Lynnette Overby, director of UD's Office of Undergraduate Research and Experiential Learning, called the day “very successful” and said “the students were able to share interesting research, relevant community projects, and outstanding artistic works.”

Overby said that in holding the event, the hope was “to create a professional venue for students to share the results of their summer scholar experience. We also wanted to break down disciplinary and program boundaries so that students could see the relationship between the disciplines. Students and faculty seemed engaged and interested in this new format.”

Overby said the event was a collaboration of the newly formed University of Delaware Alliance of Summer Scholar Programs. “Our goal has been to share resources and experiences,” she said. “The Undergraduate Research and Service Celebratory Symposium is one important result of this collaboration.”

As part of the event, an iPad was given away as a contribution from the College of Engineering and a bicycle was given away courtesy of Burnaby Munson, C. Eugene Bennett Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry.

Article by Adam Thomas
Photographs by Kathy F. Atkinson and Ambre Alexander