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      Learning at Conferences

      Students Represent Widener at National Conferences in Various Fields


      Anthropology Conference

      Widener students volunteer at the Society for Applied Anthropology’s annual conference in Philadelphia.

      From business to anthropology to botany, Widener undergraduate students have been taking on key roles at conferences, giving them the opportunity to share research, network and learn.

      This semester, Widener history majors presented about the Chester Made initiative during the Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference in Hershey, School of Business Administration students traveled to San Francisco for the International Academy of Business Disciplines conference, and students presented posters at the Drosophila Research Conference in Philadelphia.

      Botany Conference Grant

      Inesha Ellis, a biology and pre-physical therapy major and psychology minor, was recently awarded a Preparing Leaders and Nurturing Tomorrow's Scientists (PLANTS) travel grant to attend the annual Botany Conference in Rochester, Minnesota in July. The grant is funded by the Botanical Society of America and the National Science Foundation.

      "Only 14 of these awards were made nationally, so it is a fantastic accomplishment for Inesha," said Associate Professor of Biology Katherine Goodrich, who will also attend the conference.

      The grant pays the expenses of the trip, as well as mentoring from a graduate student and faculty member to encourage student participation in botany as a career. Ellis said she is excited to meet others who share her interest and passion for research projects.

      "I was shocked ... to think that I could be picked nationally," Ellis said. "I read the email at least 10 times before calling my mom."

      At the conference, Ellis and junior Rebecca Senski will be presenting research they have worked on with Goodrich for about a year. Ellis explained that the research is based on whether flies are attracted to the fermenting scent released from a flower called Asimina triloba, or pawpaw.

      Volunteering for Anthropology Conference

      In April, six Widener students volunteered at the Society for Applied Anthropology's annual meeting at the Loews Hotel in Philadelphia. In appreciation, the society gave the students a free one-year membership and waived the conference registration fees.

      The students – Ed McFadden '18, Riley Smith '21, Chaya Jenkins '19, Malik Curtis '19, Alex Wacey '19, and Domenic Gaeta '19 – learned at the conference about the society's hands-on solutions to social problems in the discipline. The students were accompanied by Anthropology Instructor Chelsea Abbas, who presented during a panel discussion.

      "Even though this conference happens once a year, I knew I had to take advantage of it while I am in college," said junior anthropology major Domenic Gaeta. "I really liked hearing about how anthropologists across the United States are trying to incorporate sustainability into their work, since it is something we often discuss in classes at Widener."

      Riley Smith, a freshman exploratory studies major, agreed that the opportunity was too valuable to pass up.

      "As an exploratory studies student who is still deciding on a major, this convention was a great way to learn about the field of anthropology and how it relates to the real world," Smith said. "I interacted with interesting people that I would not have otherwise had the chance to meet."

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