North Central College - Naperville, IL

Record number of students to present at national research conference

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Contact: Nancy Dunker, associate director of public relations, 630-637-5306

NAPERVILLE, Ill. (Jan. 31, 2011)—For the second year, a record number of North Central College students have been chosen to participate in the nation’s leading conference on undergraduate research.

Thirty-eight students will represent North Central at the annual National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) March 31 to April 2 at Ithaca College in Ithaca, N.Y. The number of participants from North Central College is among the most of any institution represented at the conference.

“This is an extraordinary and historic achievement for North Central’s students and their faculty mentors—one that reflects a growing ‘culture of inquiry’ and our strategic plan’s commitment to ‘expand faculty-student-staff collaboration, including undergraduate research,’” says Nancy Peterson, North Central’s coordinator of undergraduate research and professor of chemistry. “I am very grateful to our faculty for their extraordinary efforts cultivating student research projects and guiding students through the proposal submission process.”

The number of North Central participants has grown in recent years, from two in 2005 to 32 in 2010 to the record 38 this year. The 38 students will present 31 different proposals; some proposals have more than one presenter, and two students will present two different research projects. Of those 38 students, 17 are part of North Central’s College Scholars Honor Program and nine of the research projects were funded by a Richter Independent Study Fellowship grant by the College.

The National Conference on Undergraduate Research is dedicated to promoting undergraduate research, scholarship and creative activity in all fields of study. This annual gathering welcomes up to 2,600 scholars and their faculty mentors from all institutions of higher learning in the United States. NCUR creates a unique environment for the celebration and promotion of undergraduate student achievement. To learn more about the conference, visit or

Students chosen to present at NCUR are Brandi Balensiefen, Christopher Bilbro, Matthew Borchardt, Stewart Charles, Laura Constantine, Katie Dahlstrom, Amanda Dominguez, Rachel Garthe, Bianca Gavin, Hywel Griffith, Kelvin Guilbault, Bethany Henning, Joshua Heyza, Grace Hollister, Jennifer John, Edvard Jeune Joseph, Carolyn Kalafut, Stephanie Kuersten, Garrett Lutz, Erin Martin, Cody McCullough, Madeline Moton, Patrick Nebl, Steven Oliveri, Allison Pawelczyk, Ryan Piers, Emily Rademaker, Jonathan Rascher, Jessica Reynolds, Katherine Riess, Alexis Smith, Lindsey Stewart, Grant Swanson, Marcy Thomas, Weien Wang, Melissa Warren, Timothy Whitney and John Willis.

Founded in 1861 and celebrating its Sesquicentennial in 2011, North Central College is an independent, comprehensive college of the liberal arts and sciences that offers more than 55 undergraduate majors and graduate programming in six areas. Located in the Historic District of Naperville, Illinois—rated by Money magazine as among the nation’s “Best Places to Live”—North Central College is just 30 minutes from Chicago’s Loop. With more than 2,900 undergraduate and graduate students, North Central College is committed to academic excellence, a climate that emphasizes leadership, ethics, values and service, a curriculum that balances job-related knowledge with a liberal arts foundation and a caring environment with small classes. Visit to learn more.

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