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Alumni, students connect at science symposium

Alumni, students connect at science symposium

10/24/2022 

SUNY Cortland hosted the seventh annual Michael J. Bond ’75, M.D. Alumni/Undergraduate Science Symposium this past weekend.

The event connects current students and faculty in the sciences with alumni who have had success in the field and return to campus to share their experience and knowledge.

This year’s schedule included plenary sessions from students and alumni and a Bowers Hall Lab Crawl in which students mingled with returning graduates and alumni to share insight on their research.

Student plenary sessions included:

  • Kaleb Frierson, a senior biology major from Moravia, N.Y., presented on “Invasive plant removal and deer exclusion are associated with higher soil invertebrate biodiversity.”
  • Annabella Nilon, a junior biomedical sciences major from Horseheads, N.Y., presented on “Development of an olfactory receptor-based biosensor for odorant sensing.”

Alumni plenary sessions included:

  • Chelsea Cook ’09, Ph.D., assistant professor of biological sciences at Marquette University and co-founder and chief science officer of HiveTech Solutions, presented “Roots of curiosity and inspiration. How SUNY Cortland impacted my path to academica and entrepreneurship.”
  • Brennan Gerlach ’13, Ph.D., principal scientists and the Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research, presented “Discovering the pieces of the cellular puzzle: how to build connections from bench to bedside and beyond.”
  • Eric Larsson ’76, Ph.D., executive director of clinical services at Lovaas Institute Midwest, presented “How can science be real in the real world? Taking what we learned with us.”

Students who had poster presentations during the lab crawl are: Fab Adorno Aguila, Jake Ballagh, Levi Barnes, Bettina Bonfiglio, Christina Chueiri, Mackenzie Dickman, Elizabeth DuBois, Christine Gildea, Serenity Jean, Sofia Macedo, Abigail McCoy, Annabella Nilon, Carlie Salomon, Jacob Scibek, Piper Slocum, Jacquelyn Soriano, Trinity Tobin, Zach Turlington, Nate Turner and Kyla Young.

The symposium is funded through an endowment via a significant planned gift from Michael Bond ‘75, M.D. Medical director of Advanced Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery in Orlando, Florida, Bond is an accomplished scuba diver, underwater photographer and published author in Marine Geology and National Geographic who credits his time spent on undergraduate research with Professor Emeritus David Berger as vital to his ability to apply to medical schools.

William Baerthlein ’76, M.D. has made a major gift to support the immediate needs of the symposium. A member of SUNY Cortland’s Academic Hall of Fame and the Cortland College Foundation board, Baerthlein is a physician whose scholarship and expertise on methods for delivering babies has greatly influenced reproductive medicine.

The symposium builds upon other avenues SUNY Cortland has developed to celebrate undergraduate research, including Summer Research Fellowships and Transformations: A Student Research and Creativity Conference. Visit the Undergraduate Research Council’s website to learn more.


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