Saint Martin’s University’s students to present research at Murdock Conference

October 7, 2009

Lacey, Washington – On October 30, Saint Martin’s University biology students Ally Campanelli and Rachel Golda will present a poster of their summer research at the 18th Annual Murdock College Science Research Program Conference. The title of their poster is "Locating Primary Growth Angle 1: a gene involved in the gravitropic response of plant seedlings.” Their research was jointly funded by a grant from the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust College Research Program for the Life Sciences and matched funds from the 2007 Saint Martin’s University President’s Gala. The students will be accompanied by Saint Martin’s biology professor Mary Jo Hartman and eleven other science students.

The Murdock College Science Research Program Conference, which will be held this year at Gonzaga University, is an annual conference that spotlights student and faculty collaborative science research at the colleges and universities in the Pacific Northwest. The conference normally includes student oral and poster research presentations, an evening banquet with keynote speakers, and separate special sessions for students and faculty. Every year, Saint Martin’s students who have completed research work, usually done through a summer senior seminar course, work with their faculty advisor to put together a poster to present at the conference. Campanelli and Golda’s research was conducted at Saint Martin’s University and at Stanford University at the Carnegie Institution for Science, Department of Plant Biology.

“The Murdock conference is a chance not only for our students to share their research, but also to see undergraduate students from other Pacific Northwest colleges give their presentations,” said Professor Hartman. “It helps our students as they consider senior project ideas and graduate school research.”

“We encourage all of our students to attend these meetings [such as Murdock],” said Saint Martin’s chemistry professor Dr. Greg Milligan, who has been taking Saint Martin’s students to the conference since he joined the faculty in 2002. “It is important to provide a bridge between what they learn in the classroom and what goes on in the ‘real world’ of science.”

In addition to the Murdock conference, Saint Martin’s students attend the American Chemical Society (ACS) conference. For the last few years Saint Martin’s has sent students, usually eight to twelve each year, to ACS meetings in Anaheim, San Diego, Chicago, New Orleans, and Salt Lake City. This spring about ten students will attend the San Francisco meeting, with one student presenting.

About Saint Martin’s: Saint Martin’s University is an independent four-year, Catholic, coeducational university located on a 380-acre wooded campus in Lacey, Washington. Established in 1895 by the Catholic Order of Saint Benedict, the University is one of 18 Benedictine colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, and the only one west of the Rocky Mountains. Saint Martin’s University prepares students for successful lives through its 21 majors and six graduate programs spanning the liberal arts, business, education and engineering. Saint Martin’s welcomes 1,250 student from many ethnic and religious backgrounds to its main campus, and 650 more to its five extension campuses located at Fort Lewis Army Post, McChord Air Force Base, Olympic College, Centralia College, and Tacoma Community College.

For additional information:

Genevieve Canceko Chan
Director of Communications & Marketing
Saint Martin's University