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MCLA to Hold Seventh Annual Undergraduate Research Conference

04/17/2009

NORTH ADAMS, MA - Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) will hold its Seventh Annual Undergraduate Research Conference (URC) on Thursday, April 23, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., in Murdock and Venable halls on the MCLA campus.

The campus community and the local community are invited to attend. Refreshments will be served at all sessions and a free lunch will be available at the keynote presentation at 12:30 p.m. in Murdock Hall room 218.

This year, participation has grown significantly, with wide involvement from students and faculty. In addition to a poster session, individual paper sessions, and keynote address by Trisha A. Farco '04, this year, for the first time, the conference will feature a number of faculty-sponsored special sessions devoted to student work on particular topics, themes and projects.

Farco majored in English/communications, with concentrations in literature and creative writing. She had the distinction of being MCLA's first Commonwealth Honors Scholar. She received a Master of Arts degree in English from The College of Saint Rose in Albany, N.Y., in 2006 and is an adjunct faculty member in the English department at Saint Rose. Farco balances her teaching of writing and literature and her ongoing poetry writing with her work for the American Red Cross of Northeastern New York, where she works in the Health and Safety Department as an instructor.

The URC provides an opportunity for MCLA students to share their projects in research and creative work with the campus and local community. Participating students will represent their research and creative work in arts management, biology, chemistry, English/communications, environmental studies, fine and performing arts, history, mathematics, modern languages, service learning, sociology, philosophy, physics and psychology.

Posters will be on display in Venable gym from 9 to 11 a.m., and papers and special sessions will be presented in Murdock Hall 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., 2-3:15 p.m. and 3:30-4:45 p.m.

Papers will include "The Irish Revolution from 1919-1921," "Motivating Adolescent Readers Using Contemporary Young Adult Fiction," "Detecting Gravitational Waves with LISA (the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna)," "The Adaptive Nature of Social Aggression" and "Terrorism and its Justifications: Algeria and Northern Ireland.

Poster sessions will include: "Song Variation in Savannah Sparrows," "Genotypic Variations in Plant Defenses and Herbivory of Japanese Knotweed, Fallopia japonica," "The Collaborative Curatorial Process: Vivid Wonders of a Startled Imagination Exhibit at Gallery 51," "Mutual Fund Portfolio Diversification Strategies for Varying Market Trends" and "Models for Expansion of the Universe.

Special sessions will cover topics in Shakespeare studies, contemporary Latin American film, philosophy, creative writing and the sociology of food.

Organizing the URC is the collaborative work of a steering committee consisting of faculty, administrators and staff. Dr. Maria Bartini, psychology professor, serves as URC steering committee chair.

For more information, go to www.mcla.edu .