- Undergraduate students in polymer, materials and biomaterials science
will get an opportunity to share their research with other students
and faculty at the INSPIRE conference Oct. 16-18 at The University
of Southern Mississippi.
To be held
annually, the inaugural regional conference is open to undergraduate
students throughout the Southeast; however, applications are being
accepted from universities and colleges in other areas. INSPIRE
- short for the Interstate Network of Science Programs Integrating
Research and Education - will be devoted mostly to undergraduate
student presentations and poster sessions.
conferences will spotlight the most creative and disciplined science
undergraduates - those who've actually done the science," said
Dr. Pollyanne Frantz, education and outreach coordinator in the
Southern Miss School of Polymers and High Performance Materials.
excellence and stimulate further career development in these three
sciences, cash prizes will be given for best research papers and
events include a career and job fair, featuring industrial sponsors,
talks by world-class scientists, professional development sessions
on interviewing, resume preparation, career building and entrepreneurialism,
and social activities designed to foster networking and collaborating.
said conference organizers would especially like to invite recent
Research Experiences for Undergraduate (REU) participants throughout
the country who have completed research projects in the three scientific
areas. INSPIRE is a unique opportunity, Dr. Frantz said, because
there are not that many conferences available nationwide for undergraduate
students. "And if they do go, they are not necessarily able
to give presentations and show their research to other students
like they'll be able to do at this one," she said.
planning to attend the conference is Zachary Baeseman, a recent
participant in the REU program this summer at Southern Miss. He
said the conference, sponsored by Phi Kappa Phi and various industries
such as BP Chemicals and Southern Ionics, is an excellent opportunity
for undergraduates to get real exposure to the scientific world
as a 'foot-in-the-door' for many undergraduates who lack conference
and presentation experience," Baeseman said. "It should
further add to their most recent research experiences."
he hopes to present his research to a substantial body of scientists
who will challenge, critique and hopefully commend him for the undergraduate
work he's done.
to establishing Southern Miss' reputation as a leader in undergraduate
research activities, the conference is a way to recruit top science
students into programs in the university's College of Science and
Technology, said Dr. Douglas Wicks, chair of the Southern Miss Polymer
will this allow us to recruit students, but it will allow industries
to interact with a diverse student population and recruit (bachelor
of science) level scientists," Wicks said. "Industries
can have a dialogue with faculty and students about issues of common
interest and explore university-industry relationships."
for submitting oral presentation and poster abstracts is Aug. 31,
although organizers are taking registration applications as late
as Sept. 30. There are no registration fees, and qualified applicants
may receive support for rooms, meals and travel expenses.
For more information
about the INSPIRE conference, contact Dr. Pollyanne Frantz by phone
at (601) 266-5047 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. The
conference Web site URL is http://www.pslc.ws/inspire.