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Research Symposium Inspired by Active Learning

Research Symposium Benjamin Franklin with KiteThe University of St. Thomas will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Research Symposium on April 10-12, 2014. During the Symposium, undergraduates and graduates from all disciplines can present oral and poster presentations about their research to their peers, faculty, staff and professionals in their field.

The theme of this year’s symposium will be active learning, based on a quotation from Benjamin Franklin:

“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.”

President Robert Ivany said the University of St. Thomas enjoys many great academic traditions and the Research Symposium is one of the most cherished.

“Our students benefit from the close student to professor relationship that distinguishes our university,” Ivany said. “With their faculty’s dedicated guidance, they create imaginative and innovative projects and experiments. Congratulations for continuing such a valuable academic tradition!”

Freshmen through seniors and graduate students may present posters or oral presentations. And it’s not just the sciences such as biology, chemistry and environmental science that participate. Departments active in research also include humanities and social sciences like history, political science, psychology, English and international studies, as well as education and business.

Students have a variety of research opportunities at St. Thomas, ranging from lab coursework and independent study with a faculty mentor, to a major thesis or a group research project through the Honors Program.

Honors Program Students Present on Death and MortalityHonors Program students in the Contemporary Problems Seminar will present their research on the issues of death and mortality as issues of hide and seek on April 11 at 4 p.m. in Jones Hall. The group says there are paradoxical dealings with the two responses of death: to hasten it or delay it as long as possible.

For more information, contact Harris at 713-525-3805 or The Research Symposium is sponsored by the Committee on Student Research.

Download the full schedule of presentations.

Melissa Cantu Name: Melissa Cantu
Major: Math Major, Physics Minor
Advisor: Dr. Birgit Mellis

Read Abstract: “Synthesis and Characterization of High Purity Silicon Nanoparticles”


Dominic KisielewskiName: Dominic Kisielewski
Major: International Studies
Advisor: Dr. Hans Stockton

Read Abstract: “Climate Change and Political Stability: Finding The Link”


Maryam Manesh

Name: Maryam Manesh
Major: Chemistry
Advisors: Drs. Tracy Covey and Birgit Mellis

Read Abstract: “Coupling of Gold Nanoparticles to Green Fluorescent Biotinylated Proteins for Cell Targeting and Investigation of the Resulting System in regard to Photothermal Effects”


Holly MertaName: Holly Merta
Major: Biology
Advisor: Dr. Alexandra Simmons-Nout

Read Abstract: “Restriction mapping of a 'trembler' mutation in C. elegans


Laura Smith

Name: Laura Smith
Major: Drama
Advisors: Dr. Claire McDonald and Eric Domuret

Read Abstract: “Drama U.S.T: Our Journey”