At Unity College’s fifth annual Fall Student Conference, a great variety of topics and high-quality work were revealed on topics worthy of America’s Environmental College.

The Unity College Student Conference takes place between the end of classes and the beginning of final exams with submissions processed through a Call for Proposals that is forwarded to all UC students and faculty during the semester. The Conference consists of multiple presentation formats and includes judging in several interdisciplinary categories.

The goals of the Student Conference are to:

  • Encourage, promote, and recognize all quality academic and professional work among Unity College students, but celebrate excellence
  • Help build a campus culture that values attention to detail and quality work
  • Provide a transitional experience into professional and academic communities
  • Facilitate program evaluation and community building

Some of the notable presentations from the Unity College Student Conference included:

Hope Kanarvogel, Daniel Orlando, Joey Bauer, and Maxwell Maloney shared their multimedia exhibit entitled Palermo Consolidated School – Land Management Plan, the result of a class with faculty sponsor Tom Mullin, where students “provided para-professional consultant work on land use planning for a regional school.”

Quinn Boyle’s Creativity Award-winning photography on the Overland Farm Project was comprised of a series of large photographs whose hues and colors brought the viewer into a world of nature and country beauty.

Shayne Van Leer’s Pastured Poultry for Food Security won the Sustainability Award for its overview of an FFA-grant-funded project that dealt with agricultural production and food security.

Eli Walker and Alex Bach received the Unity Partnership Award for their multimedia presentation on Sears Island.

Kieu Tran won the Award for Academic Excellence for her sophisticated oral presentation Oyster Reef Carbon Sequestration: The Hidden Pearl, in which she explored whether or not an oyster reef next to a salt marsh could be a carbon sink.

The Unity Award recipient was Alexis White for her poster on Models of Predator/Prey Role Reversal in Ticks and Guineafowl, describing her “mathematical approach to understanding the effect of using guineafowl as a biological control species for ticks.”

The Education Award went to Kaitlyn Wiktor and Blythe Lalley for their Learning Resource Center work promoting this important tutoring student support resource.

Research Award winner Kari Lemelin used a poster to share her study of a Zombie Outbreak at Unity College.  According to Kari, she “created a mathematical model showing population growth rates of zombies,” a project that “was completed for an independent study on disease modeling.”

Victoria Heyne, Craig Geddis, Daniel Orlando, Hans Axelsson, Kaitlyn Nafziger, Marc Daigle, Sarah Riley and Shayne Van Leer received the large-group Environmental Professionals Award for their work on The Effects of Agricultural Practices and Rainfall Intensity on Soil Erosion, a project simulating poor agricultural practices with recommendations on improvements.

For more information on the Unity College Student Conference, including past conference results, how to submit and other awards categories, please click here.

Unity College is a private college in rural Maine that provides dedicated, engaged students with a liberal arts education that emphasizes the environment and natural resources. Unity College graduates are prepared to be environmental stewards, effective leaders, and responsible citizens through active learning experiences within a supportive community.

Thursday, January 10, 2013