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Biology Students Showcase Research at State Capitol

A group of seven Concordia University students presented their research results to state legislators in the Minnesota State Capitol rotunda as part of the annual Minnesota Private College Scholars at the Capitol event Feb. 19. The annual occurrence recognizes the importance of undergraduate student research being conducted at Minnesota’s private colleges.

Biology students Lisa LeVoir (’15), Leah Markham (’13) and Danielle Fehrman (’14) presented research on whether viable molecules can be retrieved from preserved human tissue, while Eryn Johnson (’14), Brittany Kapala (’14), Kara Pioske (’13) and Michael Stoick (’14) shared their studies on the metabolic effects of caffeine on the human body. The students’ research was conducted under the guidance of Dr. Shellie Kieke and Dr. Theodore Sadler.

“Presenting our research off campus at the Capitol made me realize that all the work we put in and all the research we do really does matter,” said senior Kara Pioske. “Sometimes I think we lose sight of that when we only present to our fellow peers and faculty members. It was nice to see that others are interested and appreciate our work.”

Junior Michael Stoick said the benefits of presenting at the Capitol went beyond the actual research and results. “Not only did we solidify our research through interactions with professionals and other research students, we gained a working knowledge of the state capitol and how to network with elected officials.”

Students from Dr. Kieke’s cell biology course have presented research at the Private College Scholars at the Capitol annually since 2008. Tuesday’s event featured a total of 28 research projects and drew 37 students and their advisors from 15 Minnesota private colleges.

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