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MC students travel to present at science conferences

Monmouth College students Brett Dunn, Kortney Rupp and Jacob Hutton presented research at science conferences in October.
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In October, three Monmouth College chemistry/biochemistry majors spoke at conferences.
Juniors Brett Dunn of Brookfield and Jacob Hutton of Sherrard were the only undergraduates to speak at the Rocky Mountain Regional American Chemical Society Meeting in Westminster, Colo. They presented a talk titled “Utilizing Langmuir Monolayers and Liposomes to Investigate Molecular Interactions in Cellular Membranes in Relation to Disease Progression” in the Reactions in Lipid and Lipid-Like Environments and Applications of the chemistry section.
“This was an invited talk on their summer research that I was supposed to give but was unable to,” reported associate professor of chemistry Audra Sostarecz. “Their summer research was performed at Monmouth in my research lab and paid for by the Doc Kieft Summer Research Fund,” which also helped cover part of the costs of attending the conference.”
Sostarecz, was invited to give the talk by her collaborator at Colorado State University, who praised Dunn and Hutton for their efforts.
“As a research adviser, I was thrilled to give them this opportunity,” said Sostarecz. “I have given many talks at regional and national ACS meetings, so it is amazing to live the experience through my students and to see their enjoyment.”
“Our trip out to Colorado was a great experience that I don't think many undergraduates get to have,” said Dunn. “It was a lot of fun being around the people pushing science forward, the people out there developing new ideas. This made me feel that the things we are doing at Monmouth are of true value. We get to truly experience research and work on projects that are more similar to what we may see beyond our undergraduate studies.”
“The conference was a great opportunity to learn about new research topics as well as get some feedback on possible directions to take our research,” added Hutton.
Dunn and Hutton repeated the talk the following week at the IL-IA Local American Chemical Society Undergraduate Research Conference at St. Ambrose University. The conference was organized by MC assistant professor of chemistry Eric Todd, who serves as chair of the local ACS chapter.
Another student, Kortney Rupp, was one of 15 undergraduates from across the U.S. chosen to receive a full travel scholarship to attend and give a talk at the Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physical Sciences at the University of Nebraska. The title of her talk was “Interactions of 1,2-Dipalmitoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine and Ibuprofen on Langmuir Monolayers.”
“This is research that Kortney performed in my lab in the last academic year,” said Sostarecz. “Kortney did an internship with Abbott Labs this past summer, and this conference was an amazing opportunity for her, especially since she will be applying to graduate schools this year.
Dunn and Rupp will be joined by Patrick Corrigan and Mitch Heuermann, both juniors from Peoria, at the national meeting of the American Chemical Society next April in New Orleans.
“All four are extremely excited and have submitted abstracts today to present their research in the form of a poster,” said Sostarecz.