JSC Undergraduates Present Research in Washington, DC
On May 5, 2009, nearly 80 undergraduate students from across the nation, including three Johnson State College students — Merlin Poutre, Caitlyn Dias and Mallory Sargent — gathered on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC for the annual Council on Undergraduate Research's (CUR) Posters on the Hill event. The participants are chosen from hundreds of applicants from institutions across the country, to present the results of their independent research in various fields. Members of Congress, federal agency funding officers, members of the press and invited guests attend this event.
The trio has been assisting Professor Gina Mireault with research on the development of humor in infants, an effort which has been dubbed the "Laughing Babies Study." You can learn more about the ongoing "Laughing Babies" study here.
According to CUR's Web site, the winning teams of students and their faculty advisors — in JSC's case, Professor Mireault — who hail from four-year institutions and community colleges, were competitively chosen from over four hundred applicants. Their research is funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Health and Human Services and many other agencies. Additional funding for the JSC group came from the Vermont Genetics Network, JSC President Barbara Murphy, and the JSC Student Government Association.
"Undergraduate research experiences provide students with a conceptual understanding of their disciplines, while cultivating critical thinking and problem solving skills that transcend disciplinary learning. Given the renewed importance of science and discovery in this country, and the challenges we face, undergraduate research is more valuable than ever," said CUR Executive Officer Nancy Hensel. "Posters on the Hill is an opportunity for students and faculty to share their work with Members of Congress and others who support the endeavor."
Top left: Caitlyn Dias, Merlin Poutre and Mallory Sargent pose in front of the Capitol Building.
Above: The students and Professor Gina Mireault pose with Congressman Peter Welch in his Washington, DC office. (L-R: Merlin Poutre, Professor Mireault, Congressman Welch, Mallory Sargent and Caitlyn Dias.)