Vikings score big at 7th annual research conference

Bonnie Winston
April 05, 2009

Elizabeth City State University student researchers won first and second-place awards in the 7th Annual Virginia Tech Undergraduate Research and Prospective Graduate Student Conference held recently in Blacksburg, Va. George Harris, an engineering technology major, who is majoring in biology, received first-place honors in the judged competition for their oral presentation, "A Hybrid Solution for Renewable Energy." Their research advisor on the project was Dr. Mehran Elahi. Winning second place in the same category were Shavonda Evans and Megha Patel. Evans, who is a biology pre-medical major, and Patel, biology major, presented research on "Effect of TRAIL on Estrogen Receptor Negative Breast Cancer Cell Lines HTB-129." Dr. Hirendranath Banerjee served as their research advisor. More than 130 undergraduates from 10 colleges and universities participated in the conference held on April 6, 2009, at the Skelton Conference Center on Virginia Tech's campus. The annual event showcases students' involvement in research and creative scholarship while enhancing their presentation skills through the competition. The 40 oral and 48 poster presentations involved such wide-ranging topics as "Community-Based Sustainable Development Planning" to "Wolverine: Conflicted Hero in Conflicting Times." The conference also featured sessions on graduate education as a post-baccalaureate option. Five students and four faculty/staff members represented ECSU at the two day event. The conference was sponsored by Virginia Tech's Center for Academic Enrichment and Excellence, the Virginia-North Carolina Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation, the Virginia Tech Division of Research and the Virginia Tech Graduate School. For additional information, contact Warren E. Poole, interim director of ECSU's Office of Summer School, (252) 335-3670,; or Kesha Williams, ECSU director of media relations, (252) 335-3686,