Five Virginia Tech undergraduate students have been selected to be 2010-11 Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Undergraduate Research Scholars.

The five students were selected from among approximately 40 applicants.

The ACC Undergraduate Research Scholarship program, coordinated by the Division of Undergraduate Education, recognizes highly talented undergraduate students who are pursuing ambitious and unique research projects. Students selected as ACC Undergraduate Research Scholars receive a $2,000 award that can be used as a stipend and/or direct support of research expenses such as supplies, travel, and the use of specialized research services.

“The ACC Research Scholars program gives us the opportunity to recognize talented undergraduates for taking their educational experience to the next level through undergraduate research,” said Diana Ridgwell, director of student development and the Undergraduate Research Institute in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, and current chair of the ACC Undergraduate Research Scholars Awards committee.

The 2010-11 ACC Undergraduate Research Scholars are

  • Charles Baker of Great Falls, Va., a senior in the University Honors program majoring in physics, biological sciences, and mathematics in the College of Science. Project title: “Insights into Physical Origins of Protein Stability in Highly Saline Environments.” (Faculty mentor: Alexey Onufriev; assistant professor of computer science)
  • Ritesh KC of Fairfax, Va., a senior in the University Honors program majoring in biochemistry in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Project title: “Distinguishing Between Either a Sensor-Regulator Role or a Polarized Nicotine Transport Role for the Tobacco NUP1 Plasma Membrane Transporter. (Faculty mentor: John Jelesko, associate professor of plant pathology, physiology, and weed science)
  • Bryan Murray of Virginia Beach, Va., a senior majoring in general engineering in the College of Engineering. Project title: “GIS Study to Characterize Interaction of Virginia’s Aerospace Activities and Offshore Energy Development.” (Faculty mentor: George Hagerman, senior research associate, Advanced Research Institute, National Capital Region)
  • Ryan Prest of Lynchburg, Va., a senior in the University Honors program majoring in history and classical studies in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences. Project title: “The Valeril Flacci: A Prosopographical Study of One Patrician Family in the Roman Republic.” (Faculty mentor: Trudy Harrington Becker, senior instructor, Department of Religion and Culture)
  • Sarah Webster of Matthews, N.C., a senior in the University Honors program majoring in wildlife sciences in the College of Natural Resources and Environment and biological sciences in the College of Science. Project title: “The Impact of Sustainable Logging on Jaguars in Belize.” (Faculty mentor: Marcella Kelly, associate professor of fisheries and wildlife science)

Applications for the 2011-12 ACC Undergraduate Research Scholars will be accepted in January 2011. Information on the application process and deadlines will be announced through Virginia Tech News.

Learn more about undergraduate research opportunities at Virginia Tech online.

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.

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