Back from left: Derek Simonsen, Sarah Schlichte, Olivia Tuel, Fabian Salazar, Victor Espinoza, Dr. James Hampton. Front from left: Taylor Nelson, Cortney Weaver, Erin Morley, Michelle Clinesmith, Kathryn Keller.

Back from left: Derek Simonsen, Sarah Schlichte, Olivia Tuel, Fabian Salazar, Victor Espinoza, Dr. James Hampton. Front from left: Taylor Nelson, Cortney Weaver, Erin Morley, Michelle Clinesmith, Kathryn Keller.

May 4, 2017

Ten Buena Vista University biology students presented research at the 129th Iowa Academy of Science (IAS) Annual Meeting on April 21-22 at the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls, Iowa.

“The IAS conference allows students to present research results to a broader audience of research scientists, graduate students and other undergraduates from throughout Iowa,” said Dr. Melinda Coogan, professor of biology. “This experience builds confidence in public speaking and in learning how to share scientific discoveries in a way that is understandable to people from multiple science disciplines.”

The event also proved to be a great networking opportunity for the participating students.

“This year’s number of conference presenters was at an all-time high, which allowed our students to engage in thought-provoking research discussions and serve as excellent ambassadors of BVU,” said Coogan.

“This experience builds confidence in public speaking and in learning how to share scientific discoveries in a way that is understandable to people from multiple science disciplines.”

Dr. Melinda Coogan

In order to present at the conference, the BVU students had to submit 200-word abstracts within specific science disciplines. The abstracts were then carefully reviewed by IAS section chairs and accepted for presentation. The students’ abstracts will be published in the “Journal of the Iowa Academy of Science” by June 1, 2017.

The event was especially meaningful for Coogan, who served as this year’s president of IAS and delivered the key address at the President’s Banquet on April 21.

“Being elected Iowa Academy of Science president provided me with an opportunity to serve in a leadership role within the state where I was born and where I began discovering who I was as a scientist,” said Coogan. “To be elected by a group of my peers from throughout the state is an incredibly humbling experience. In many respects, my life has come full circle, and I couldn’t be more appreciative of the many opportunities afforded to me before leaving and since returning to Iowa.”

The BVU students who presented include:

  • Michelle Clinesmith, a senior biology major from Lake View
  • Victor Espinoza, a senior biology major from Storm Lake
  • Kathryn Keller, a junior biology major from Rolfe
  • Erin Morley, a senior biology major from Sherrard, Ill.
  • Taylor Nelson, a sophomore biology major from Elkhart, Ind.
  • Fabian Salazar, a senior biology and Spanish double major from Storm Lake
  • Sarah Schlichte, a senior biology major from Templeton
  • Derek Simonsen, a senior biology major from Quimby
  • Olivia Tuel, a senior biology major from Clarenc
  • Cortney Weaver, a senior biology and art double major from Shawnee, Kan.