Undergraduate researchers to present at third annual Meeting of the Minds conference

BLACKSBURG, Va., March 17, 2008 – Four Virginia Tech undergraduate students have been selected to present their research projects at the third annual Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Meeting of the Minds undergraduate research conference in Tallahassee, Fla., on April 18 and 19.

Aaron Rudd of Stephens City, Va., a University Honors program student and senior majoring in human nutrition, foods and exercise in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences; Andrew Lucas of Fairfax Station, Va., a University Honors program student and senior with a double major in biology and chemistry in the College of Science ; Tyler Haak of Ingomar, Pa., a senior majoring in civil engineering in the College of Engineering; and Elizabeth Carraway of Charlottesville, Va., a senior majoring in English in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences were each selected to present their research projects and to represent their respective colleges and Virginia Tech at the annual conference.

The selection process was competitive and the selected research projects vary in academic disciplines. Each of the colleges at Virginia Tech individually sent out a call for undergraduate research proposals. Those proposals were reviewed at the college level and each college could submit as many as three proposals to the university review committee. After a thorough review of over a dozen undergraduate research proposals, the university review committee chose four undergraduate researchers and their projects to take part in the Meeting of the Minds conference.

“The ACC Meeting of the Minds Conference is a wonderful opportunity for Virginia Tech to showcase some its most promising undergraduate scholars,” said Karen Eley Sanders, assistant provost and director of academic support programs.

This annual event began when the conference established the championship football game between the Coastal Division and Atlantic Division leaders. The conference presidents decided to use some of the game revenue to support academics and sponsor an annual undergraduate research conference. The first conference was held at Clemson University in Clemson, S.C., and last year’s conference was held at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Va. Florida State University is hosting this year’s Meeting of the Minds undergraduate research conference.

Founded in 1872 as a land-grant college, Virginia Tech is the most comprehensive university in the Commonwealth of Virginia and is among the top research universities in the nation. Today, Virginia Tech’s eight colleges are dedicated to quality, innovation, and results through teaching, research, and outreach activities. At its 2,600-acre main campus located in Blacksburg and other campus centers in Northern Virginia, Southwest Virginia, Hampton Roads, Richmond, and Roanoke, Virginia Tech enrolls more than 28,000 undergraduate and graduate students from all 50 states and more than 100 countries in 180 academic degree programs.