SC Upstate Research Symposium Sparks Scholarly Collaborations Throughout the Upstate

March 23, 2011 at 12:21 pm

Spartanburg, S.C. – On Friday, April 15, a convergence of great minds – researchers, scholars and creatives – will occur when the seventh annual SC Upstate Research Symposium is held at Milliken & Company from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. 

“The SC Upstate Research Symposium has two primary purposes,” said Dr. Sebastian van Delden, associate professor of computer science and director of research at the University of South Carolina Upstate. “One is to spark collaborations between the different two- and four-year schools, stimulating collaborative grant writing and other research-oriented partnerships. The other primary purpose of the symposium is to educate Upstate students. Undergraduate students get the experience of disseminating their scholarly or creative accomplishments, and high school student groups also attend the event to learn about faculty and students in the Upstate.”

This free Symposium series provides a forum for faculty, students, and community representatives throughout the Upstate to interact with each other, to share information and expertise, and to nurture future research collaborations. The program will feature presentations, posters, and tutorials contributed by faculty and students from numerous disciplines at USC UpstateConverse CollegeWofford CollegeSherman College,  Spartanburg Community College, Lander UniversitySpartanburg Methodist CollegeSouthern Wesleyan UniversityFrancis Marion UniversityNorth Greenville University, Greenville Technical College, and USC Beaufort.  The Best Student Presentation, Poster, and Paper will be recognized with the student scholars receiving award certificates and prizes. 

The SC Upstate Research Symposium also provides a forum where high school students can interact with college-level faculty and students and business and community leaders can interact with faculty and students to learn about the types of research being pursued at the colleges and universities throughout the Upstate.

“We are not research-centered schools, so it is impressive how many people are doing research – finding the time to do it, getting grant money and publishing papers,” said van Delden, who is also chairman of the Symposium. “And also it’s exciting how a lot of schools are including students in their research. It’s a good experience for the students because it’s coming up with answers to unknown problems, so it really reinforces their critical-thinking skills. It’s an important part of the education process.”

Dr. Nancy Trun, chair of the Biological Sciences Department at Duquesne University, will deliver the keynote address to kick off the event at 8:30 a.m. The symposium concludes at 3:45 p.m. with the student award ceremony. The day’s schedule of events can be found here: SC Upstate Research Symposium Program Schedule

Trun holds a B.S. in microbiology from The Ohio State University and a Ph.D. in molecular biology from Princeton University. She has been teaching for several decades at the undergraduate and graduate levels. In addition to basic research on the folding of chromosomes in bacteria, she, along with an ever growing group of collaborators, is developing and exploring novel ways to teach undergraduates the skills needed for a career in science. Application-Based Service Learning is the practical application of that exploration. It combines novel undergraduate research in a class setting, service learning, collaborations with other institutions and a community problem to teach the fundamentals of science.

The primary sponsors of the event are the Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System and Milliken & Company. Several academic institutions that contributed financially to the symposium include Limestone College, Spartanburg Community College, Spartanburg Methodist College, USC Upstate, Wofford College, and Converse College.

The SC Upstate Research Symposium is open to the public but advance registration is required. Organizers encourage high school student groups and community business representatives to attend as well as, college students in order to gain experience of a professional research symposium. Registered attendees will receive Symposium Proceedings, a 220-page booklet containing all of the submitted articles, and there are door prizes for students.

To register online, view a detailed program schedule and to learn more details, visit www.uscupstate.edu/symposium. For other information, contact Dr. Sebastian van Delden, associate professor of computer science and director of research at USC Upstate, at (864) 503-5292 or svandelden@uscupstate.edu.