12/12/2013 6:02:50 PM
Life in the Labs
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
By: Ericka Pier '14
While many Siena students are enjoying time off from their studies this summer, a handful of students can still be found in Morrell Science Center and Roger Bacon Hall. These students are part of the Siena Summer Scholars Program, which allows faculty members and students to collaborate, design and carry out original research projects.
The biochemistry and chemistry departments have ten students conducting experiments. “Summer research isn’t for everyone. You need the right technique and stamina to do it,” said Dan Moriarty ’93, Ph.D., associate professor of chemistry. “However, it can be much more rewarding as you can accomplish a week’s worth of research during the academic year in a day or two in the summer if things go right.”
Two students up for the challenge, Kathleen Leamy ’13 and Cody Unczur ’14, are studying the antibacterial properties of various plants and foods. They will present their findings in Philadelphia at a national conference in July. Looking toward the future, Leamy said “Research has helped me realize microbiology is what I want to do after I graduate. This has been a great hands-on experience so far.” Unczur plans to pursue medical school after Siena.
In Roger Bacon Hall the Computer Science department is working on developing and integrating a robotics component into the introductory computer science labs. Scott Vandenburgh, Ph.D., professor of computer science, and Johanna Horowitz, assistant professor of computer science, are working with Justin Rose ’15 and Julian Thomas ’15 on this project. “The goal of this research is to improve people’s interest in the Introduction to Computer Science course,” Vandenburgh said. Meanwhile, Thomas has learned a lot about programming and his desire to go into video game design after Siena has been cemented.
In total, there are 17 ongoing summer research projects in the School of Science. Some of the other research topics include hydrofracking, terrorists groups, Twitter indexing and monitoring bat populations in cooperation with the Department of Environmental Conservation. There are more than 25 students participating in research this summer utilizing the time to help them pursue their dreams.
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