Graduate research forum highlights investments made by Virginia graduate students

BLACKSBURG, Va., April 4, 2006 – This year’s Virginia Graduate Student Research Forum, held on Wednesday, March 29 at the State Library of Virginia in Richmond, highlighted how Virginia’s investment in graduate education is truly an investment in Virginia’s future.

Hosted by the Virginia Council of Graduate Schools, the forum focused on the diverse range of investigations that graduate students pursue. Among the presentations and topics discussed were: A solar powered house; genetically altered flowers with commercial potential, magnetic particles in eye fluid with potential to repair detached retinas; changing the behavior of emotionally impaired children, tidewater organisms telling us about pollution; archaeological and historical findings in 60 acres on the York River; and pen pals, rescued dogs and prisoners saving each other.

The work graduate students do, such as that presented at the Graduate Student Research Forum, contributes to the economic, social and civic development of the Commonwealth. In a time when knowledge creation is the currency needed for the future health of our country and state, graduate education is the major producer and incubator for these fertile minds. Half of the economic growth over the last half-century has been the result of technological innovation, scientific discovery, and knowledge creation according to the NDEA 21: A Renewed Commitment to Graduate Education, published by the Council of Graduate Schools in 2005.

According to Karen DePauw, vice provost for graduate studies and dean of the Graduate School at Virginia Tech, graduate students enrolled at Virginia colleges and universities come from virtually all states in the nation and over 60 nations throughout the world. They are the future generation of scientists, teachers, leaders, and professionals. Approximately 70 percent of these individuals remain in Virginia after graduation, becoming valuable members of the Commonwealth workforce and citizenry. They represent today’s research and scholarship and tomorrow’s future.

For more information about specific students from each university who presented at the Virginia Graduate Student Research Forum in Richmond, and for pictures of the event, go here.

The Graduate School promotes graduate education as a critical component in the transmission of new knowledge, research, ideas, and scholarship at Virginia Tech. It is responsible for the development, administration, and evaluation of graduate education throughout the university, providing support to faculty, staff, and more than 6,000 graduate students. The Graduate School is committed to building a diverse graduate community and vibrant intellectual environment to help prepare graduates to serve as leaders for the commonwealth, the nation, and the world.