(Posted March 31, 2011)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- The Council on Undergraduate Research convinced Congress to designate April 11-15 as 2011 Undergraduate Research Week and Juniata College is honoring its commitment to research by scheduling its Liberal Arts Symposium, a day off from classes where more than 180 students present their research projects, on April 14.

Many students from the local area will be presenting research during the day. The following students from Blair County will be presenting research projects: Brad Dinardo, of Altoona, Pa.; Kristyn Ginter, of Tyrone, Pa.; Kenny Goodfellow, of Duncansville, Pa.; Tiereney Miller, of Altoona; and Erica Strang, of Altoona. Students from Huntingdon County include Jordan Baney, of Huntingdon, Pa.; Jamie Hersh, of Huntingdon; and Janelle Smith of Huntingdon. Students from Bedford County include, Catherine Stroup, of Bedford, Pa.; Samantha Stroup, of Bedford Pa.; and Benjamin DeHass, of Manns Choice, Pa

Juniata has sent more than 260 students to the National Conference on Undergraduate Research to present research papers and posters over the past decade.

Juniata also has sent more than 260 students to the National Conference on Undergraduate Research to present research papers and posters over the past decade. The college sent 20 students to the 2011 conference in Ithaca, N.Y.; 12 to the 2010 conference in Missoula, Mont.; 17 to the 2009 conference in Lacrosse, Wis.; 27 to the conference in Salisbury, Md. in 2008. In 2004 the college sent 40 students to the conference in Indianapolis. Ind.

The Juniata Liberal Arts Symposium, first staged in 2006, brings together students from almost all academic disciplines to present their research projects to panels of judges. Oral and poster presentations will run from 8 a.m. through 4:30 p.m., Thursday, April 14 in buildings across the campus, including Brumbaugh Academic Center, the Halbritter Center for the Performing Arts, Founders Hall and the von Liebig Center for Science.

Regular classes will be cancelled for the day, allowing all rooms to be available for presentations and frees volunteer students and faculty to act as judges.

Exhibitions by students in the visual arts and performing arts are planning programs as well. There will be a selective exhibition of fine art projects on display in the lobby of the Suzanne von Liebig Theatre in the Halbritter Center for the Performing Arts during the day. As part of the symposium, a play written by Juniata students based on their interviews called "Death: A Comedy with Music," will run at 7:30 p.m. from April 13-16 at the von Liebig Theatre.

In an event off campus, a Juniata College senior, Katrina Shughrue, from New Freedom, Pa., will present her own research April 13 at a CUR-sponsored event, "Posters on the Hill" at the Rayburn Office Building in Washington, D.C. She also presented her research at a CUR meeting at the Library of Congress in October 2010.

Shughrue's work focuses on using LIBS (Laser-induced Breakdown Spectroscopy) to analyze columbite and tantalite, two minerals important in the consumer electronics industry that are found in abundance in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Sales of these minerals and others, called "conflict minerals," have been used to promote armed conflict, human rights abuses and sexual violence in the Congo and other countries.

In addition to Shughrue, Juniata has had three other students present research "on the Hill," including Christopher Speise and Marsha Loth in 2004 and Aaron Amick in 2003.

Contact April Feagley at feaglea@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3131 for more information.