(l. to r.) Hayley Williamson '13, Maggie Benson '13, Chris Wirth '13, Biology Professor
Melanie Gubbels Bupp, Alyssa Warren '13
Randolph-Macon College Biology Professor Melanie
Gubbels Bupp recently traveled with four students to the national Chi Beta Phi conference
in Elkins, West Virginia.
The conference was hosted by Davis & Elkins College. Students participated in
Chi Beta Phi national business meetings, attended a keynote speech, and presented
their SURF (Schapiro Undergraduate Research Fellowship)
projects. Awards were given for the top three student research presentations.
Hayley Williamson ’13 won first place for her presentation, “Transitions
from low beta to high beta regimes in the Venus ionosphere,” in which she described
the work she did with Dr. Joseph Grebowsky at NASA Goddard Spaceflight Center.
Maggie Benson ’13, who presented work that she conducted with Biology
Professor Grace Lim-Fong entitled “The early larva gets a home: The invasiveness
of the Shallow genotype of Bugula neritina,” won 3rd place.
Alyssa Warren ’13 presented the research she conducted with Biology
Professor Wallace Martin entitled “Molecular phylogenetics of a new species of Angulomyces
(Chytridiomycota) with preliminary observations of zoospore ultrastructure,” and
Chris Wirth ’13 presented the research he conducted with Biology
Professor Barry Knisley entitled “Studies of Mircrohabitats and the effects of soil
moisture and food on larval survival and development of the coral pink sand dunes
Wirth received the National Chi Beta Phi Key award, which recognizes a gifted and
outstanding member, and he was elected Chi Beta Phi National Historian.
“Chi Beta Phi was founded at R-MC, but had not previously been very active on campus
or at the national level,” explains Gubbels Bupp. “This year’s officer team—Alyssa
Warren (president), Sierra Mosticone-Wangensteen ’13 (vice president),
Maggie Benson (secretary), and Chris Wirth (treasurer) is working to make the alpha
chapter of Chi Beta Phi more active at both levels. Fund-raising efforts are currently
underway to establish a fund that students can apply to for supplementing travel
expenses when presenting their research at conferences.”