Building the future of science in Michigan

Ferris students are involved in presenting research in front of professionals with the Van Andel Institute Graduate School (VAIGS) for the annual West Michigan Regional Undergraduate Science Research Conference.

“Van Andel Institute Graduate School hosts this unique event to bring together undergraduate researchers to discuss results from their research and that of others,” said Julie Davis Turner, the associate dean of VAIGS. “In recent years, over twenty area colleges and universities bring roughly 300 participants and nearly 150 poster presentations to this day-long event.”

According to Turner, the posters provoke sharing of ideas, critiques and differences of opinion, providing a sense of how science works and the importance of interaction.

“The symposium also hosts a keynote speaker and five presentations from regional sponsoring institutions, this year we are proud to present Dr. Philip Gingerich from the University of Michigan as our keynote,” Turner said.

According to Beth Hinshaw Hall, VAIGS’ director of communications and marketing, there will be two academic departments from Ferris, the Shimadzue Core Laboratory and the College of Pharmacy, along with Dr. Stephen Durst and Dr. Thomas Dowling, both deans at Ferris.

Important to the mission of this symposium, diverse disciplines are presented from biology to chemistry, from math to physics, engineering to science education and many more.

“As a result of this diversity, students who are not quite sure what they want to do in their career benefit from the contact with other fields,” Turner said. “In this way, they experience the current research, the manner of discourse within disciplines and other students already working in that field.”

The event will take place Saturday, Nov. 5, from 9 a.m to 3:30 p.m. at the Van Andel Research Institute.