Lees-McRae students present at 23rd annual Blue Ridge Undergraduate Research Conference

April 13, 2016

Wildlife biology major Destini Petitt and biology major Hailey Sarausky participated in the 23rd annual Blue Ridge Undergraduate Research Conference this month at King University in Bristol, TN. Undergraduate students from throughout the region submitted brief abstracts and were selected to present their scholarly work in either oral or poster presentations. Institutions represented at this year’s conference included Davis & Elkins College, King University, Lees-McRae College, Lincoln Memorial University, Milligan College, Ohio Valley University, Tusculum College, Union College, and the University of Virginia - Wise.

Destini Petitt delivered a talk titled “Effects of Riparian Stabilization on Sedimentation” which focused on her senior research project. Destini planted a variety of native plants along the banks of Elk and Shawneehaw creeks using the joint-planting method to help alleviate some of the problems associated with sedimentation in the Mill Pond. Her project explored the short-term impacts of these plantings on the overall sediment load in the creeks. Destini was mentored by Dr. Sean Collins.

Hailey Sarausky gave an oral presentation exploring the data she gathered as part of a summer internship at Dartmouth College during the summer of 2015. In her talk, “Human Lysozyme Inhibition by E. coli IVY Protein”, Hailey explained how a protein in bacteria can prevent cell death and how she worked with a team of researchers trying to understand how changing an enzyme may lead to more effective treatment. Hailey was advised by Dr. Kelly Collins.

A keynote address by Dr. Salvatore Musumeci of UT – Chattanooga showcased several aspects of undergraduate research for students. “Making My Work Our Work: Why We Study and Learn Together” was a lecture and workshop rolled into one shedding light on how easy it can be, and how important it is, to foster undergraduate research.

Lees-McRae offers both biology and wildlife biology programs within the Division of Science and Mathematics. For more information about these programs, visit lmc.edu/science

Media Contact:

Nina Mastandrea  |  Content Manager
Tel: 828.898.8729  |  Email: mastandrean@lmc.edu
Hailey Sarausky and Destini Petitt
Destini Petitt presenting “Effects of Riparian Stabilization on Sedimentation”
Hailey Sarausky presenting “Human Lysozyme Inhibition by E. coli IVY Protein”