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The Missouri Miner

Missouri S&T's Student Newspaper
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EST. 1915

Research On Tap: A new opportunity to learn

Danielle Sheahan

There is a new and exciting thing to do in Rolla! Every second Wednesday of the month, the Graduate Student Leadership Council (GSLC) has one or two professors or graduate students talk about the research that they are doing at Missouri University of Science and Technology. The GSLC is, more or less, the link between the university’s administration and their graduate students. They represent the graduate students specifically in the College of Arts, Sciences, and Business (CASB) and they strive to work toward the greater goals of the university, which means creating positive relationships with both the on-campus and off-campus community in Rolla.

The purpose of these events is to include the Rolla community in the research that the university is participating in. Most community members do not have the time or the access to get to see research speakers on campus. So, it made perfect sense to Nikki Gomez, the GSLC secretary, to have the speakers come to the community. Having the speakers at the local Public House Brewpub on North Rolla Street, make the talks easy to get to and gives them a more casual and laid back environment that one does not usually get during a research talk. These talks are geared toward not only community members, but also students and other faculty to give them the opportunity to learn about what their peers and mentors are working on.

The first Research on Tap was covered by Greg Katski and as he mentions in his article, “Tapping into Research,” it had two speakers: Dr. Westenberg and Frank Marshall. Dr. Westenberg, professor and interim chair for the biology department at Missouri S&T, brought his signature, adorable stuffed microbes to add visuals and make them more fun to talk about. The word “microbe” is short for “microorganism” and typically, when either word is used in conversation, people are referring to disease or fermentation causing bacteria, which really dampens the mood. Westenberg’s attempt to lighten the topic must have been a success because Katski mentions how attendees laughed with approval during Dr. Westenberg’s presentation. After Westenberg’s presentation, chemistry Ph.D. student, Frank Marshall, talked about the S&T Mars Rover Design Team and their upcoming competitions. These events will be in June, June 1st through the 3rd to be precise, at the Mars Desert Research Station in Hanksville, Utah.

The March speaker on March 8th was Dr. Larry Gragg. He spoke about the upcoming S&T’s 150 year anniversary, otherwise known as a sesquicentennial. He is currently working on recording Missouri S&T’s history into a book that will be published just in time for the sesquicentennial in 2020. Dr. Gragg presented on how one researches the history of a campus as old as S&T, including everything from the founding of the university in 1870, to our famous Best Ever St. Pat’s, and the explanation of all the name changes.

Next month’s speakers will be two graduate students in a graduate CASB department. They will be covering their personal research projects. One of the presenters has been confirmed who is Casey Burton.

“Casey Burton who is a PhD student in Chemistry. He is also the president of the GSLC. He will be talking about his research with Dr. Yinfa Ma about detecting cancer.” - Nikki Gomez

The exact date of the April talk will be on Wednesday, April 12th, 2017 at 6:30 PM at Public House. It is requested by the GSLC that attendees arrive at Public House Brewing Company – Rolla Brewpub, at 6:00 PM to find seats in the brewpub loft, settle in, and order before the speaker(s) begin promptly at 6:30 PM. This allows the event to start on time and is respectful to the researchers who volunteered their time to present to the community. Everyone is welcome to the event so come and promote local business and learn about current research at the university.


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