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 SRU students researchers prepare for Penn State conference 



April 8, 2010

CONTACT: K.E. Schwab


SRU student researchers prepare for Penn State conference


SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - The research work of six Slippery Rock University undergraduates will be included in the Penn State Erie, The Behrend College's signature Undergraduate Student Research and Creative Accomplishment Conference Saturday.

The 19th annual event opens at 8 a.m. in Roche Hall on the Behrend campus.

Students from 10 colleges and universities in western Pennsylvania will present 149 research projects.

Jessica Rack, a biology major from Pittsburgh, will deliver an oral presentation titled "Behavioral Response to Olfactory Cues in the Convict Cichlid, Amatitlania nigrofasciatum." She worked with Simon Beaching, SRU professor of biology, on the project that was recently featured in rockpride online, the campus online newsletter. (

Five students will display posters at the conference. They are: 

         Lee Layton, a biology major from Evans City, who worked with Dean DeNicola, SRU professor of biology, on "Effects of Passive Treatment for Acid Mine Drainage on Epilithic Community Productivity in Streams";

         Amanda Bruening, biology major from a Painesville, Ohio, and recent graduate Jeffrey Resse, who majored in biology major, who both worked with Timothy Smith, SRU professor of physical therapy, on "Perinatal and Postnatal Changes in Volume of the Vomeronasal Neuroepithelium in the Mongolian Gerbil (Meriones unguiculatus)";

         Jennifer Caprez, a biology major from Chesterland, Ohio, who worked with Smith and Susan Rehorek, SRU associate professor of biology, on "Development of the Nasolacrimal Duct in the Rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus); and

         Jessica Johnson, biology major from Pittsburgh, who worked with Smith and Rehorek, on "The Nasolacrimal Bony Canal in the Rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus)."


Penn State Behrend and the Northwest Pennsylvania Chapter of Sigma Xi, an international, multidisciplinary research society, sponsor the conference. 

Students will participate in 87 poster and 62 oral presentations throughout the college's School of Science complex. In total, 230 students will present their research findings and 125 faculty members will serve as mentors and judges.

The half-day event concludes with an awards ceremony for participants at noon in McGarvey Commons.

Also participating are students representing research work at Penn State Behrend, Allegheny College, Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, Gannon University, Grove City College, Mercyhurst College, Penn State DuBois, the University of Pittsburgh at Titusville and Westminster College.

Penn State Behrend annually provides nearly $250,000 to support undergraduate research by its students. 

SRU's annual Symposium for Student Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity is April 8-9.           

Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.



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