Campus News

Eleven UGA students present their research at national biomedical conference in Orlando

Some of the UGA attendees at this year’s ABRCMS are (from left): Marcus Fechheimer

For the second year in a row, a UGA undergraduate student won an outstanding presentation award at the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students, the nation’s largest conference for underrepresented groups in biomedical sciences. This year’s conference, held Nov. 5-8 in Orlando, Fla., attracted more than 2,800 attendees.

Sophomore David Mitchell, a pre-business major in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, won for his poster in social and behavioral sciences.

Victoria Plaut, assistant professor in the department of psychology, guided Mitchell’s studies as an apprentice with the Center for Undergraduate Research Opportunities.

Ten undergraduate students and one doctoral student presented posters at this year’s ABRCMS. This is only the second year that UGA ­undergraduate students have presented, but also the second year that a UGA student has won an award, according to Kojo Mensa-Wilmot, a cellular biology professor who helps coordinate UGA’s team. Last year, junior Sana Hashmi received an award in molecular biological sciences.

“ABRCMS gives students a chance to present their work before a national audience,” said Pamela Kleiber, associate director of the Honors Program. “This kind of experience is invaluable.”

UGA also hosted a recruitment booth about research programs and graduate school opportunities for prospective students.

“The students were very interested in summer research opportunities, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Ph.D. programs and the public health program,” said Jerrod Bryson, a doctoral student who helped at the booth. “Several times I was speaking to three or more student visitors at one time.”

“Dean Garnett Stokes of the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences provided incredible exemplary support,” said Mensa-Wilmot. “Our presence at ABRCMS was made possible with help from the Honors Program, the Office of Inclusion and Diversity Leadership and the genetics training grant in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, the Peach State Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation, the Alumni Association and the Office of the Vice President for Research. The Georgia Department of Human Resources and the American Society for Microbiology assisted as well. We need support from other units to sustain UGA’s presence there, however. ABRCMS provides a critical forum for advertising UGA’s commitment to diversity in the sciences. We welcome everyone to the table.”