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Lyon students to present undergraduate research to state legislators | Events

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Lyon students to present undergraduate research to state legislators
Events, News, Schools
Lyon students to present undergraduate research to state legislators

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Nearly 80 students from Arkansas four-year public and private colleges and universities will gather at the State Capitol Rotunda on Feb. 15 to present cutting-edge undergraduate research to state legislators.

Students will share their work in the areas of natural sciences, computer science, engineering and mathematics. The research will be on display between 10 a.m. and noon in the rotunda. The event is open to the public.

Students participating in “Arkansas STEM Posters at the Capitol” are from Arkansas State University, Philander Smith College, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, University of Central Arkansas, Southern Arkansas University, Henderson State University, Harding University, Hendrix College, Arkansas Tech University, Lyon College, University of Arkansas at Monticello, Ouachita Baptist University, and John Brown University. 

“I felt strongly this program would fly in Arkansas because I know there exists around the state a strong culture of undergraduate research at public and private schools. This is especially true in STEM disciplines,” Dr. Patrick Desrochers, organizer and chemistry professor at the University of Central Arkansas. “This February’s session is the result of conversations shared with STEM colleagues around the state and the commitment of these individuals to support their students in original research at their schools.”

Dr. Frank Hahn, a chemistry professor at the Philander University, is among the faculty assisting with the event.

“We are excited to participate in this event because it helps our students promote their STEM-related work to our legislators,” Hahn said. “It’s something that will be continuous.”

Dr. Ann Willyard, a biology professor at Hendrix College, said the event will allow students to share the excitement of their experiments with elected representatives.

“Independent research is the ultimate engaged learning experience for students of the sciences, and this opportunity to discuss their own science with non-scientists will be a very powerful experience for each participant,” she said.

Desrochers hopes the poster presentations becomes an established program for the State Capitol.

“This should become something the legislators and public anticipate, a showcase of the best and brightest students from around the state involved in exciting and innovative projects. In the end, this should advocate for the good work these students and faculty do at their schools," he said. " Hopefully, this poster session will help it become widely known that outstanding educational opportunities are available right here in Arkansas in highly technical, exciting, challenging, and sometimes financially lucrative fields, following undergraduate and graduate training.  Arkansans should know these opportunities exist at schools throughout the state.”

A luncheon honoring the students will immediately follow the capitol presentations. The luncheon will feature Dr. Alex Biris, director of the Nanotechnology Center at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.  

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