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Research, creative projects displayed at PURC forum

By Lesley Covington
Senior Staff Writer

Students and professors from UNCP, UNC-Chapel Hill and The University of Nebraska met in the University Center Lounge April 16 to demonstrate the fruits of their research and creative efforts and discuss graduate studies.            

Panelists included Dr. Jesse Peters and Dr. Lee Phillips from UNCP, Dr. Leslie Lerea, Dr. Bob Duronio and Dr. Bill Kier from UNC-Chapel Hill and Dr. Carole Levin from The University of Nebraska.

Dr. Lerea said the most important thing to remember about bumpy rides along the road to your degree is to keep an eye on the goal.            

“The key is not to panic,” she said.

Another factor she mentioned were skills such as critical thinking, time management, communication and collaboration which students take with them after completing graduate school.            

“You will have life long skills,” she said, “even if you change professions down the road.”

Senior and history major Mary Gyves asked how many non-traditional students are usually admitted to graduate school.             Dr. Levin said “at least one-third if not more” of all graduate students at her school were non-traditional.

There were two poster sessions throughout the day in which students and faculty were available to discuss their work and their findings: from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.             “You can ask yourself the question: is that research interesting, and do I want to spend five years doing that or even most of my career?” Dr. Kier said.

Each of the participants encouraged students to continue with their research and creative efforts.             Dr. Lerea told senior and psychology major Cedric Turner to balance research and coursework when he begins going to graduate school at UNC-Wilmington.

Provost Charles Harrington also encouraged students to thank their mentors, the members of faculty who had helped them along the way.            

Dr. Phillips would like to see more students move on from the UNCP forum to present at state, national and even international events.

“We (the PURC Center Advisory Council) really hope that students will use this forum as a stepping stone or a launching pad to gain the confidence to go to larger symposiums,” he said.            

“We had a lot of professors come by and give us tips,” said Mark Stevens, senior and Biotechnology major.

The history department had a poster of work done by junior and history major Marc Leake with mentoring by Dr. Robert Brown.            
The English department had a series of posters displaying the combined works of Dr. Scott Hicks’ English 106 students.

Dr. Peters is director of the Pembroke Undergraduate Research and Creativity Center and dean of the Maynor Honors College, and Dr. Phillips is associate director of the PURC Center and assistant professor of Geology.            

Dr. Lerea is associate dean of the graduate school at Chapel Hill. Dr. Duronio is an associate professor of Biology at Chapel Hill, and Dr. Bill Kier is a professor and chair of the Biology department at Chapel Hill.

Dr. Carole Levin is the Willa Cather Professor of History at The University of Nebraska.

Editor’s Note: The Pine Needle’s Managing Editor and Web Editor Lisa Tyndall and WNCP-TV’s Chris Frease, both senior Mass Communications majors, entered a video titled The Impact of Drugs. It had been produced by Tyndall and edited by Frease for the Fall 2005 issue of the online magazine Brave News World, a product of the Online Journalism (JRN-410) class taught by Dr. Anthony Curtis. It can be viewed here

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