John Wesley Powell Research Conference
Jennifer Schreiber '13 explains her research to Dr. Tian Xiao-He at the John Wesley
Powell Research Conference.
April 3, 2014
BLOOMINGTON, Ill.— This year’s John Wesley Powell Research Conference marks the 25th
anniversary of one of the longest running and largest undergraduate conferences of
its kind. The conference begins on Friday, April 11 with Educational Studies student
presentations and continues through Saturday, April 12. More than 140 Illinois Wesleyan
students will present research and other creative activity ranging from the natural
and social sciences to the fine arts and humanities by using posters, oral presentations,
performing musical works, displaying artwork and more.
Venues for the various programs and presentations will include the Center for Natural
Science Learning and Research (CNS), The Ames Library, the Young Main Lounge in the
Memorial Center and the Merwin and Wakeley Galleries in the Joyce G. Eichhorn Ames
School of Art building.
Fern Rosetta Sherff Professor of Composition and Theory David Vayo serves as co-chair
for the conference with Associate Professor of Education Leah Nillas, who said, “At
Illinois Wesleyan, we emphasize undergraduate research at the core of our mission.
The John Wesley Powell Conference is evidence that we value that mission.”
There will be a complementary luncheon for conference participants, parents and advisors
in the Young Main Lounge from 12:15 to 1:45 p.m., accompanied by performances of student
music compositions. To commemorate the 25th anniversary, alumni participants of the
conference will be honored as well, and a photo slideshow will be presented at the
Paul Black, postdoctoral research fellow in traditional radiation oncology at Wake
Forest Baptist Health, will deliver the keynote address titled “The Long Road to Exciting
Results: New Discoveries in DNA Charge Transport,” also during the luncheon.
A multiple award-winning researcher, Black'straining crosses physics, biology and
chemistry, focusing on radiation chemistry. He pursued research in ionizing radiation
damage to DNA and protein, using magnetic resonance techniques to characterize free
radicals in organic molecules.
Founded in 1990, the Student Research Conference is named for explorer and geologist
John Wesley Powell, a Civil War veteran and a founder of the National Geographic Society,
who joined Illinois Wesleyan’s faculty in 1865. He was the first United States professor
to use fieldwork to teach science. Later, Powell was the first director of the Smithsonian
Institution’s Bureau of Ethnology.
Following is the schedule for The John Wesley Powell Student Research Conference:
Friday, April 11
- 4:00-7:00 p.m. Educational Studies Poster and Oral Presentations at The Ames Library
Saturday, April 12
- 8:30-9:00 a.m. Continental breakfast and poster setup in the CNS Atrium
- 9:00-10:00 a.m. Morning poster presentations, Session A in the CNS Atrium
- 10:00-11:00 a.m. Oral presentations, Session 1 in the CNS classrooms
- 11:00-12 p.m. Oral presentations, Session 2 in the CNS classrooms
- 12:15- 1:45 p.m. Luncheon in the Young Main Lounge with keynote address by Paul Black
and performances by music students
- 2:00-3:00 p.m. Afternoon poster presentations – Session B in the CNS Atrium
- 2:00-3:00 p.m. Senior art show and critique at the Merwin and Wakeley Galleries located
in the Joyce G. Eichhorn Ames School of Art building – refreshments served
Nillas is working closely with Scholarly Communications Librarian and Associate Professor
Stephanie Davis-Kahl to create materials for Digital Commons, Illinois Wesleyan’s
online database for materials from past student research conferences.
“With Digital Commons, you’re not only presenting your work in a conference and having
that one-on-one conversation with your audience, but now you have something publishable
that you as well as future generations can benefit from,” said Nillas.
Digital Commons can be accessed at digitalcommons.iwu.edu.
For additional information regarding the conference, contact Nillas at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the John Wesley Powell Research Conference website.
Contact: Hannah Dhue, ’15, (309) 556-3181, email@example.com