Fifteen Eastern students and alumni were among more than 140 presenters at the Third Annual Northeast Regional Undergraduate Research Conference, held on Oct. 26 in the Betty R. Tipton Room. The conference was sponsored by the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges (COPLAC).
Eastern President Elsa Núñez greeted the conference participants, telling the young scholars, "I see a sea of explorers all on a quest," adding that undergraduate research benefits both students and faculty, "whether it is because it allows faculty to have research support that they otherwise might not have; whether it is that students provide perspectives and an intellectual context that pushes faculty to strengthen their research; or whether it is that faculty are inspired and motivated by working with young, curious, intelligent minds. At the end of the day, everyone benefits from having faculty work closely with their students on their research and creative activity."
Eastern students and alumni participating in the COPLAC conference included Eric Conn, a biology major from Moriches, NY; MacKenzie Robert, a biology major from Stonington; Thomas Farnsworth, a psychology major from Northford; Eric Lindquist '08, an environmental earth science major interning with the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection; Rosie Manzo '12, of Hudson, MA, who majored in sociology and minored in Spanish and Renewable Energy; Charles Hooper, a non-traditional student from Coventry majoring in business information systems (BIS); Nels Frantzen, a political science major from Colchester; Raena Beetham, a psychology major from Oakdale; David Stein, a biology major from Easton, PA; Ariel Levesque, an early childhood education and psychology major from South Kent; Erin Murphy, an early childhood education and psychology major from Marlborough; and Suzanne Slater, an early childhood education and psychology major from Brooklyn, CT; Margaret Pallis an English major from Tolland; Vincent Aloia '12, from Marlborough majoring in visual arts; and Carolina Galvez of Manchester, majoring in visual arts.
Faculty mentors included Biology Professor Patricia Szczys; Psychology Professor James Diller; Fred Loxsom, retired chair of sustainable energy studies; Sociology Professor Kimberly Dugan; BIS Professor Don Petkov; Philosophy Professor Hope Fitz; Psychology Professor Alita Cousins; Education Professor Sudha Swaminathan; English Professor Maureen McDonnell; and Biology Professor Joshua Idjadi.
Founded in 1988, COPLAC has 25 members. Institutions participating in the conference included Keene State College, The State University of New York at Geneseo, University of Maine-Farmington, Massachusetts College of the Liberal Arts, Ramapo College of New Jersey and Eastern.