Sunday, May 2, 2010

UWRF hosts the 10th Annual UW-System Research Symposium.

On Friday April 30th, more than 200 students, faculty and administrators from across the UW system converged on the UC for the “10th Annual UW-System Symposium on Undergraduate Research and Scholarly Activities”. This premier System-wide event is held nearly every year (unless NCUR is in Wisconsin) somewhere around the state as campuses of the UW-System gather to share their scholarly works with one another.
This year and in 2008, UWRF was honored to host the event in our excellent meeting facilities in the UC. Both oral and poster sessions went on throughout the day from around 8:30 to nearly 3:30 in the afternoon. Special quests included the Chancellor Van Galen and UW-System Student Regent, Aaron Wingad. Regent Wingad is currently serving a 2 year term on the Board and hails from our sister western Wisconsin campus in Eau Claire. Regent Wingad was recently awarded a very prestigious “Truman Scholarship” by the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation and plans to attend Medical School upon completion of his undergraduate studies in 2013.

Also featured at the Symposium was the keynote speaker, Dr. Brian Fife, from the
University of Minnesota. Dr. Fife is a new and already well known specialist in autoimmune diabetes who presented a talked entitled, “Biology happens in 3D: What can imaging teach us about autoimmune diabetes?” Dr. Fife is also a UWRF alumnus and began his research career as an undergraduate researcher here at UWRF back in the early 1990’s. Graduating in 1995, Dr. Fife was encouraged and challenged by the excellent mentorship of Dr. Karen Klyczek in the Biology Department to go on for his Ph.D. and is now a world class research scientist back in Minnesota. Dr. Fife presented a fascinating talk on imaging immune responses in 3D and the role of various immune system components in both normal and pathologic immune responses. Despite the seriousness of the topic, Dr. Fife made everyone laugh with his “trunk monkey” examples of immune system functions.

Overall the event was a great success with numerous discussions and new friendships established while old colleagues met and discussed the new ideas flowing from all the great presentations. UWRF Society for Undergraduate RSCA officers assisted the Grants office organizers with preparations, logistics and functioned as ushers for the program. Chalk-up another statewide undergraduate RSCA success for UWRF!!!

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