In the senior year, all biology majors complete a research project that requires original experimentation and scientific review. The goal of this thesis is to have it published in premier scientific journals. This process occurs over the span of one summer and two semesters.
The senior thesis is a transforming experience. Personal growth and maturation can be "painful". Some students have a difficult time, and it can be unpleasant for those who procrastinate. Although it is hard, it is not the intellectual component that confounds students: it is the self-discipline required.
Faculty are ever present to support and discuss the research projects with the students, but the faculty will not micro-manage the students' projects. Students come to understand their stake in their own research, and that they are responsible for its palpable success, or its reduced success. This is a difficult lesson for students who are accustomed to being told what to do, how to do it, and when to do it. The rewards in learning and professional growth are unparalleled in any program.
Examples of Student Research
- Changes in Mineral Content in Red Spruce Sapwood Decomposed by Fomitopsis pinicola In Vitro
Tara and Shanna Barreto
- Micro-propagation of Acer rubrum by Cutting and In-Vitro cloning Techniques
- Red Maple Micro-propagation
- Muscular Dystrophy and Calpains in the Mouse Model
- Calcium-Binding Capacity of Wheat Bran Cereal in an In Vitro Model
- Nutrient Dynamics of Red Maple Leaves During In Vitro and Mid-Winter Decay
- Drosophila melanogaster and the Effects of Heat upon Heritable Changes in the Reproductive Phenotype
- Decay Fungi Associated with Decomposing Red Maple Leaves: A Survey of Nutrient Changes, Decay Capacity, and Biodiversity
- The Mitogenic Effects of Vaccinium angustifolium extracts on Lymphocyte Proliferation
- The Effect of Dietary Fiber on Urinary Oxalate Concentration and Daily Oxalate Excretion
- Diffusion and Adsorption Barriers in Competitive Binding of Oxalate and Calcium to Wheat Bran Cereal Particles
- Antioxidant and Radical Scavenging Phytochemicals: A Comparative Analysis of Antioxidants in Tomato Paste