Roanoke College Senior Presents Thesis in Charleston, SC

by roanokecollege on April 8, 2012

Roanoke College senior Kayla Klingensmith presented her senior thesis, Immune Response to Acute Bacterial Exposure in the American Lobster, in January in Charleston, SC at the national meeting of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology.  Having the opportunity to present at this national meeting (among 3-4,000 people) was a very prestigious honor as the majority of presenters are graduate students and faculty. Kayla’s project is far enough along and close to publication which is why it was eligible for this meeting. Kayla also presented last month at this year’s RC Research Conference.

Kayla has been doing student research since her freshman year (as well as summer research) but has only had this project (which she inherited from another student) by herself for the past two years. “Normally one student cannot take a project like this to publication. It takes multiple students working on different parts of a bigger question” notes Dr. Darwin Jorgensen, Kayla’s faculty mentor.

When asked about what the student/faculty relationship in research is like Kayla mentioned that she “really enjoyed working one on one with a faculty mentor because you get a hands on experience”. Dr. Jorgensen also mentioned that it is “completely different from the classroom because you are working on a product together, you are actually doing science and you get an intellectual connection that you can’t get in the classroom.”


Kayla’s advice to incoming freshman about research is “don’t be afraid to talk to professors about research, put yourself out there and don’t be afraid to go for it.” Dr. Jorgensen also notes that “it can be an important component of a student’s college experience. It’s time consuming and difficult and students should make sure they do well in the classroom first but at a place like Roanoke it’s more possible and if they can do it, it can be tremendous.”

For more information on The Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology you can visit:

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