Over 120 students present research at Kalman Symposium

Jaxon White, News Co-Editor

On April 9, the University held the 2022 Kalman Symposium on the first and second floors of Academic West from 3:30–5:30 p.m.

At the event, over 120 student researchers were able to present their findings through poster and oral presentation sessions through three different time slots: 3:30–5:30 p.m., 3:45–4:30 p.m. or 4–5:30 p.m. From physics and astronomy to English literary studies and economics, many different academic departments were represented through the presentations. 

Provost Elisabeth Mermann-Jozwiak was present to kick off the event with opening remarks.

Angela Lai ’22, majoring in anthropology with a minor in chemistry, participated in the 3:45–4:30 oral presentation session. 

“My group has been researching the control over active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) crystallization, which continues to be a major challenge in drug formulation, primarily due to molecular polymorphism, or the ability of a compound to exist in different packing structures within the solid state,” Lai said. “The differences in polymorphic form impact important drug-delivery properties such as solubility, and polymorph selectivity is highly dependent on the crystallization conditions. We examine acetaminophen as an ideal model system.”

Lai, a central New Jersey native,  said she is part of a scholarship program that has allowed her to pursue research since the fall of 2018, the beginning of her time at the University. She wasn’t required to present her research, which meant she needed to go through the regular application process to do so. 

“I thought it was great that Bucknell was offering a chance for students to showcase their hard work and time spent with professors and faculty,” she said. “I think being recognized for research and advocating for student involvement is a great way to attract student interests and participation.” 

Other students shared a similar sentiment. 

Isabelle Levesque-Du Bose ’23, an animal behavior major with a minor in dance, worked on her research for only three months this past summer, but her research partner, Peter Foradora ’22, continued the work through the fall semester. Still, Levesque-Du Bose presented the research alone because her partner was not on campus this semester. 

I researched the size and morphometrics on river freshwater mussels Elliptio complanata in the Susquehanna River and its relation to the species’ sex,” she said. “With this, we were attempting to determine whether there’s a correlation between sex and size for the mussels, a species which little research has been conducted upon.” 

Levesque-Du Bose said that not only did this research help her gain hands-on experience with field research methods, it helped her clarify some of her career goals. 

“Additionally, the implications for our findings extend to the immediate community at Bucknell, as the health of the Susquehanna River is greatly influenced by the survival of these freshwater mussels. In this way, I was able to position my research and observe the greater effects it would have beyond the lab, which made the work I was doing feel all the more gratifying,” she said.

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