Successful Profiles

Undergraduate Research Symposium (URS) continues to offer students an opportunity to follow their interests and engage in independent research.  For several students, it has provided an opportunity to shine.

Giana Klucker, '19
Health Sciences
Caldwell University
URS Total Score: 117/120
URS Perfect Scores: Poster Quality; Project Ownership and Q&A
On the day of the undergraduate research sympoisum I was quite nervous because I had no idea what to expect.  I had my poster ready, practiced how to present my porject a few times and got the Science Center in the morning with the other sutdents from Caldwell University.  Most of my friends from Caldwell were worried about the Q&S section, however, when I look back at the event I found it the most interesting part!

So here's some advice for your Q&A:

First of all, people asking questions about your research isn't a bad thing.  In fact, it's a good one.  It shows that they are interested in your topic and that they want to find out more about it.  I can calm myself down by imagining that it's like a normal conversation betweeen a friend and me; the only difference is that now we're talking about a research project.

Another key point is to practice this section with your research class students.  This collaboration is going to help you get more confident and you'll see your progress in no time.  Although I like to work on my own, classmates commenting and asking quesitons are only going to make you better.  It is important though that you listen to the comments with a positive manner and try to change the things that weren't perfect yet.  Always remember: They don't want to harm you, they want you to succeed.

Everyone always freaks out, but what if I don't know the answer?  My stragety: Listen carefully to the question and give your best possible answer.  There's not always a right or wrong, but there is a self-confident and an unsure answer.  Even though the answer might not be 100% correct, if you talk with convictionand passion no one is going to question you.

Effective communication is crucial for this part, state your answer as short and easy as possible so that a seven-year old would understand it.  Try to display exactly what you did in your experiment with an appropriate gesture if procurable.

To sum up, enjoy yourself and have fun answering all sorts of questions.  After all, you won't hve such a big and inquisitive audience every day.  Trust me, if you go along with it, you are going to learn so many things that will definitely pay off in the long haul!

At the end of the day, the undergraduate research symposium was a complete success for me.  I did not only get to work with so many enthusiastic people, but I also discovered so many new things about myself.  After completing the research at Caldwell University and taking part in the symposium, I could see myself going into research in the future.  I'm beyond thankful for this amazing experience and all the people that made it possible for me to have my own research project.

Nicole Sivetz, '19
Biology and Molecular Cell Psysiology
Monmouth University
URS Total Score: 115/120
URS Perfect Scores: Presentation Quality; Ownership
As I continue pursuing a scientific career, the importance of communication is becoming increasingly more important in my life.  To design, executive, and analyze results form an experiement are skills which are critical for a life in science and promoted by ICFNJ op
portunities.  However, the importance of scientific findings is only as great as its presentation.  While presenting at this year's symposium, I had the pleasure of explaining complete molecular biology concepts to a diverse audience.  The STEM field is so incredibly vast and rich, especially right here in NJ.  A clear and passionate presentation backed by originial scientific content has the power to unite individuals of varying backgrounds to create interdisciplinary success.  Going forward in my life, my experience with ICFNJ has encouraged me to become an expert in my field, to truly understand the reasons behind conducting research, and to not only explain but "sell" the importance of what it means to be a scientist.

Grace Bailey, '17
Chemistry (Justice Studies and Mathematics)
College of Saint Elizabeth
URS Total Score: 113/120
URS Perfect Score: Poster Quality; Research Ownership
The symposium not only gave me the opportunity to work on a scientific project in which all problems and issues were addressed soley by me, but it also gave me the chance to present that work.  The moments before presentations are the most nerve racking, very much like the moments before wakling into a j
ob interview; there are other interviewees present which only causes more nerves.  Once judging began I was able to get an idea of what employers or outside companies were looking to understand about my scientific background and my work on the project.  The more judges came the easier talking about my work became.  The interview process that I have found works best when talking about scientific work is have a conversation.  Throughout both my years competing at the sympoosium I was able to start conversations with judges where instead of me talking at them about what I did and how it worked, we were talking together.  This communication skill has helped me further my interviewing skills in my job search.



ICFNJ has distributed $38,500 in CIC/UPS Scholarships to assist 14 students at independent colleges and universities in New Jersey.  The scholarships were made possible by a grant from the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) in Washington, DC, through the CIC/UPS Educational Endowment.

"The Council of Independent Colleges is proud to support ICFNJ and its member colleges through the CIC/UPS Scholarships Grant Program," said Richard Ekman, president of CIC.  "Designed to make proviate colleges more affordable and accessible, the scholarship will assist 551 low-income, first-generation, minority, and new American students nationwide."

Pfizer supports ResMed Undergraduate Day
by welcoming undergraduate science students and faculty from ICFNJ member schools to attend the opening day June 12, 2017, of ResMed at No Cost.

The day offers ample opportunities for undergraduates to communicate and network with industr
y leaders from such institions as Northwestern, Merck, Bristol-Meyers Squibb, Vanderbilt and more.  Lectures and discussion groups will cover such topics as:
  • Principles of MedChem
  • Practical Enzymology and Receptor Binding Assays
  • Epigenetics
  • Kinase Inhibitors
  • Drugs Affecting ION Channels.
The Residential School On Medicinal Chemistry and Biology in Drug Discovery is designed for chemists and biologists who are interested in broadening their understanding of the basic principles of drug discovery and early developments.  Scientists from related disciplines will also gain a clearer understanding of these important processes and methods.
Past participants comments note,
"Overall, a great experience.  Talks, both lectures and case studies, were current and very useful.  I learned a lot and will apply it daily at work." - ResMed 2014

Students from Drew, Rider and Seton Hall took advantage of the opportunity to attend the program and meet with Pfizer representatives and President Baenninger during the Opening Day luncheon.

Click here for more information on ResMed.


2017 ICFNJ UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH SYMPOSIUM showcases students at Liberty Science Center.

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