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Download PDF version                                                                  Eukaryon Editor’s Corner

                                                                            Volume 5, March 2009 [Table of Contents]


Argonne Undergraduate Symposium:  Another Successful Year


Alina Konnikova

Department of Biology, Lake Forest College, Lake Forest, Illinois 60045


Eukaryon is published by students at Lake Forest College, who are solely responsible for its content. The views expressed in Eukaryon do not necessarily reflect those of the College. Articles published within Eukaryon should not be cited in bibliographies. Material contained herein should be treated as personal communication and should be cited as such only with the consent of the author.


Lake Forest Students who attended the Nineteenth Annual Argonne Symposium for Undergraduates of Science, Engineering, and Mathematics

Argonne National Laboratory hosted the Nineteenth Annual Argonne Symposium for Undergraduates of Science, Engineering, and Mathematics on November 7th, 2008. Undergraduate students from colleges of the Midwest were given an opportunity to present their research in a ten-minute presentation.

The day filled with numerous exciting events started with registration, breakfast, and numerous tours around the Argonne Laboratories. Following was a keynote address by Dr. Ross Stephen Johnson, Assistant Professor of the Department of Biological Science of Chicago State University. After his interesting speech titled, “Science, Cells, IPods, and You-Tube: Making the Transition from Student to Innovator,” participants headed to the conference rooms of their interest.  There was a total of seventeen secessions, some of which were analytical chemistry, astrophysics and geophysics, biochemistry, cell biology, material sciences, genetics, genomics, and structural biology. The secessions started around eleven in the morning and continued until five in the evening. Attendees included students, professors and scientists. After the ten-minute presentation a question and answer secession followed in which the audience had a chance to find more insights into the fascinating work of these young researchers. The presenters and listeners were strongly encouraged to visit numerous presentations to learn about the various research projects taking place in the scientific field.

Eight Lake Forest College students were able to shine among approximately 200 undergraduates, representing four out of the six laboratories in the biology department. Each lab is specific to an area of study: behavioral ecology, developmental genetics, molecular biology, and neuroscience. At Lake Forest College, students are able to perform research at other institutions. For example, Daryn Cass presented her extensive research which she performed at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science. Throughout the day, professors Shubhik DebBurman and Karen Kirk accompanied students, and acknowledgements are owed to them.

The Argonne Symposium proved to be a challenging experience for Lake Forest College students, but the students rose to the challenges and achieved great success. The countless hours spent preparing for the presentations were well worth the feedback that Lake Forest students received.  Numerous scientists came up to presenters to acknowledge their hard work and their dedication to their research.

After a long successful day, everybody gathered for a dinner and to hear another outstanding keynote speaker Dr. Uwe Hansen, an Executive Director of Indiana State University. The speech was titled, “Musical Acoustics: Science & Performance,” which discussed how physics can be explained using music. His speech was fascinating because in his career he was able to combine two fields that he loves, physics and music; his speech showed that a science major allows for a wide range of opportunities.

The Argonne Undergraduate Symposium was a great success for Lake Forest College students. It allowed the students to use their  presenting skills, which are greatly emphasized and taught by the college, in a professional setting. Also, it gave an opportunity for the students to share their summer research with the scientific community and receive feedback from professionals. Lake Forest students continued the tradition of great presentations and hard work at the Argonne Undergraduate Symposium.