U.Va. President To Hear Student Researchers’ Presentations April 29

April 16, 2013

Graduate and undergraduate researchers at the University of Virginia will have the opportunity to present their findings to President Teresa A. Sullivan in a competition to be held April 29 in Newcomb Hall.

Forty-two research projects have been selected to participate in the Presidential Poster Competition, vying for research travel money. Presentations are scheduled to start at 2 p.m., with Sullivan arriving at 4 p.m. to listen to the researchers and present the ribbons.

The research spans a wide range of disciplines and topics, including “Building New Prosperity in the Coalfields,” “Metabolic Imaging: A Novel Diagnostic Strategy for Hypertensive Heart, From Mouse to Man,” “The Artistic Re-Opening of Holocaust Trials,” “Pig Model of Left Ventricular Remodeling After Myocardial Infarction,” and “A Chandra X-Ray Observation of the Galaxy Cluster Abell 3653: The Origin of Rapidly Moving BCG Galaxies.”

From these finalists, 14 winners will be selected – one undergraduate and one graduate student in each of seven categories encompassing physical and environmental sciences; engineering; bioscience and health; humanities, social and behavioral and economic sciences; law, business, policy and education; translational and applied research; and performing and fine arts and architecture. The winners will receive $500 in travel funds to help them with their research.

“Every student’s experience at U.Va. is deepened, broadened and enriched by the research that lies on their personal journey,” said Thomas C. Skalak, vice president for research. “Research is an element of the creative arts, analytical inquiry in sciences, economics or commerce, engineering a new technological prototype or writing about the history of Asia or America. There is no human endeavor that is untouched by the value of research – and students reap this value as they progress through life in every profession and avocation. “

Judges determined the finalists by examining research entries on the basis of quality of inquiry, performance, design, outcomes, potential impact on society, advance in knowledge, innovation, creativity, risk-taking, exploration at frontiers and collaborations with internal and external partners. The judges at the competition will use the same criteria, plus the in-person presentation, to determine the final winners.

Sullivan will hear a brief presentation from the contestants and will then award a blue ribbon to the winner of each category, based on the judges’ determination.

The judges for the competition are: Silvia Blemker, associate professor of biomedical engineering in the School of Engineering and Applied Science; Catherine Bradshaw, a professor in the Curry School of Education; Kathy Carr, a faculty member in the McIntire Department of Music in the College of Arts & Sciences; School of Law professor Jonathan Z. Cannon; Anselmo Canfora, an associate professor in the School of Architecture; Lisa Colosi, an assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering in the Engineering School; Cristina Della Coletta, associate dean for the arts and humanities and a professor in the College’s Department for Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese ; Erik Hewlett, a professor in the Department of Medicine, Infectious Diseases in the School of Medicine; Archie Holmes, an electrical and computer engineering professor in the Engineering School; Rick Horwitz, a cell biology professor in the School of Medicine; Kim Kelly, an associate professor of biomedical engineering in the School of Medicine; James Landers, a chemistry professor in the College; Karen McGlathery, an environmental sciences professor in the College; Pam Pecchio, an assistant professor of art in the College; Shayn Peirce-Cottler, an assistant professor of biomedical engineering in the School of Medicine; William A. Petri Jr., chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases and International Health, Department of Medicine, Infectious Diseases, in the School of Medicine; Joe Poon, William Barton Rogers Professor of Physics and chair of the Department of Physics in the College; Kodi Ravichandran, a professor in the Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Cancer Biology in the School of Medicine; Thomas C.  Skalak, vice president for research; Phil Trella, assistant vice president for graduate studies in the Office of the Vice President for Research; and Gweneth West, a drama professor in the College.

The competition, sponsored by Sullivan’s office, is designed to recognize research as a central part of U.Va.’s mission.

During Sullivan’s 2011 inauguration, a Pan-University Research/Scholarship Poster Competition was held to highlight high-impact and innovative areas of U.Va. research. Citing its popularity, the president’s office has established the competition as an annual event. It is free and open to the public.

“The Presidential Research Poster Competition celebrates the universal involvement of our students in research, and its centrality to their personal growth,” Skalak said. “Our students are producing significant new insights every day and we are proud to recognize them. Research threads in the U.Va. student experience intertwine with classroom learning and faculty mentoring to produce a strong and eternal ‘golden braid’ – fashioned from real experience and the habit of learning by doing.”

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Matt Kelly

University News Associate Office of University Communications