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Student Research Conference returns Saturday

April 24, 2019
Student Research Conference photo

The best and brightest that The College of Idaho has to offer will come together during the 14th annual Student Research Conference (SRC) on campus which will culminate in the presentations of exciting and expansive work that many students have been working on for more than a year.

The Conference begins with registration at 10:00 on Saturday morning. Presentations begin at 11:30 and will take place in the recital hall inside the Langroise Center for Performing & Fine Arts as well as Boone Hall and Blatchley Hall. A complete schedule and list of presentations can be found here. People will be able to enjoy and converse with student researchers about their topics including biology, psychology, chemistry, physics, political economy, and environmental studies. Conference Chair Jen Wallin-Ruschman of the psychology department believes it is significant piece to the student experience at the College.

“This practice presenting at a conference and communicating the importance of their work is a vital skill for students to develop as they continue into graduate school or work,” Wallin-Ruschman said. “It is also an often culminating experience of research projects that students may have worked on for years. Being able to share this work and disseminate the results of research is an important step in the scientific process and the SRC can help facilitate this.”

The SRC also serves as an opportunity to freshman and prospective students to see the enlightening career path their degree at the College can take them.

Unlike conferences at other institutions, The College of Idaho offers a unique flavor, derived from its PEAK curriculum, which is focused on bringing together ideas across multiple disciplines. Most of the presentations will be presented orally and on poster boards. However, a presentation will occur in Spanish, one presentation will be a documentary film created by students, one a performance by theatre students, music performances, and a senior art show that has been re-envisioned from past years. Senior music major Hannah Sorensen’s presentation combines two different disciplines, music and biology, by investigating “effective and healthy phonation, which combined the anatomy of the larynx with vocal pedagogy (foundations of vocal studies.)”

Courtney Kelly, a senior who is double-majoring in biology and music, has been practicing her presentation for some time. Kelly’s presentation is titled ‘Examining the Phase II Detoxification Activity in Signal Crayfish (Pacifastacus Leniusculus) Antennal Gland.’

“I have been preparing for my presentation by practicing a lot. In front of the mirror, for friends, for my dog, anyone who I can get to listen to me for a few minutes,” Kelly said. “I am most looking forward to seeing everyone’s presentations. It is so fun to see what your peers have been working on outside of class, and to learn more about the thing they are passionate about. I always learn so much during the SRC.”

This is a rewarding aspect for most students: being able to celebrate their peers’ work. They all understand the struggle of conducting such high levels of research and then presenting their results.

“Our entire community benefits from being exposed to the wide variety of high quality research and creative activity conducted by students at the College,” Wallin-Ruschman pointed out. “Our community is strengthened by coming together across PEAK and disciplinary boundaries to celebrate and learn from the work of our impressive student researchers.”

The College of Idaho has a 128-year-old legacy of excellence. The C of I is known for its outstanding academic programs, winning athletics tradition and history of producing successful graduates, including seven Rhodes Scholars, three governors, and countless business leaders and innovators. Its distinctive PEAK Curriculum challenges students to attain competency in the four knowledge peaks of humanities, natural sciences, social sciences and a professional field—empowering them to earn a major and three minors in four years. The College’s close-knit, residential campus is located in Caldwell, where its proximity both to Boise and to the world-class outdoor activities of southwest Idaho’s mountains and rivers offers unique opportunities for learning beyond the classroom.  For more information, visit 

Story submitted by Tallon Howie, C of I Marketing and Communications Intern