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MCLA to Host 12th Annual Undergraduate Research Conference

04/14/2014

NORTH ADAMS, MASS. - Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) will host its 12th Annual Undergraduate Research Conference (URC) on Thursday, April 17, beginning at 8:30 a.m. in the Venable Gym, when hundreds of MCLA students will present their research.

Held each year in April, the URC is a campus-wide celebration of the talent and dedication of MCLA's students. Part of the College's~Undergraduate Research Program, the conference encompasses a broad definition of "research," as it welcomes undergraduate scholarship and creative activity in all fields of scholarly activity, including that in the arts, the humanities and in the sciences.

Depending on the discipline, students display their work as a poster, an oral presentation or a performance.

This year's key note speaker will be Dr. Victoria Welch '09, who earned a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from MCLA. After she graduated from the College, Welch attended New York Chiropractic College in Seneca Falls, N.Y., where she was selected for an internship at the nation's largest military teaching hospital - Walter Reed National Medical Center in Bethesda, Md.

Now a chiropractor at Chittenden County Chiropractic in Vermont, Welch will speak to faculty, presenters and their guests about her work with graduate research and her internship at Walter Reed, where she cared for wounded warriors and active duty military members.

According to Dr. Anthony Daly, a history professor at MCLA, the URC represents an ideal forum for students to demonstrate the value of active participation in a liberal arts education.

"Our students pursue their academic interests in collaboration with dedicated faculty, while they gain confidence and experience as they prepare for life after college," Daly said. 

This year's student research includes an examination of writer Toni Morrison and her book, "Jazz"; a look at the relationship between students' beliefs about the nature of knowledge, where knowledge comes from, and academic success as measured by GPA; an examination of the effects of music and personality on creativity; an analysis of strategies employed by abolitionists and anti-slavery politicians during the Antebellum period in America; and how teaching future teachers science with argumentation - which encourages the discovery of scientific knowledge as opposed to merely memorization of facts - will help their students also to utilize that practice.

For more information, go to www.mcla.edu/Undergraduate/Experience/undergraduateresearch/conference and www.mcla.edu/news/alumnatodiscusschiropracticcareer_1159.