Concordia University Portland actively encourages undergraduate research across its colleges. One example of this research emphasis is SURI – the Summer Undergraduate Research Institute. Participating students spend the summer closely working with a full time faculty member in hands-on, practical research. The experiences are varied.
Campus research activities generally center on research being conducted by individual faculty members. For example, Dr. Rici Hallstrand is conducting extensive tissue research in our culture lab. Avery Hong, a Concordia biology major, has been working with Dr. Mihail Iordanov the past two years studying antimicrobial properties of green tea-derived flavonoids against skin Staphylococci. She recently presented her results at the annual meeting of the Oregon Academy of Science. Dr. Andrew Johnson has focused on using computational methods to answer questions about the conformational and energetic landscapes of molecular systems that are difficult to explore experimentally. Using an in-house 30 processor computing cluster, the lab has focused on using molecular dynamics simulations to explore molecular motions (slipping and pirouetting) inherent in rotaxane systems.
Other research takes students off campus. Dr. Matt Wise has been involved in a multi-year research project studying aerosol particles in the environment and using the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory at Richland, WA. Students spend several months at PNNL with Dr. Wise conducting tests and getting first-hand research experience in a large national laboratory operated by the U.S. Department of Energy.
In addition, students have an opportunity to present and potentially publish their research. Each fall Concordia students who have participated in SURI over the summer share their research at the annual Murdock College Science Research Conference. The conference focuses on sharing and advancing new knowledge in the natural sciences that were created or discovered through collaborative faculty-student research. Ken Bodzewski recently presented research on a Rotazane System. Dr. Johnson and one of his students had a paper published in the the New Journal of Chemistry. Students in Environmental Chemistry (CHM 321) recently had some of their research published in the Journal of Chemical Education. Three students from the Concordia Psychology Department presented research at the annual convention of the Western Psychology Association.
Five Concordia science students recently presented at the annual meeting of the Oregon Academy of Sciences (OAS). The meeting was held on the campus of Oregon State University in Corvallis. Emily Heinsen and Rachel Siltman gave oral presentations on their research at the conference. Cole Crosby, Kelsey Mauk, and Stefan Vincent presented scientific posters on their research. Dr. Rici Hallstrand, Dr. Andrew Johnson and Dr. Matt Wise attended the conference with the Concordia students. Please contact Dr. Hallstrand to learn more about participating in future Oregon Academy of Science conferences.
There are many opportunities for students to get undergraduate research experience at Concordia Portland. The university is a member of the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR).