Gustavus Students Present at the 2022 Midstates Consortium for Math and Sciences Posted on November 14th, 2022 by

Pictured left to right: Kristin Simphoukham, Katie Lillemon, Amelia Wernsing, Kristin Martens Rachel Trebesch, and Emma Stock

This November, a group of Gustavus students presented their research at the Midstates Consortium for Math and Sciences. The 2022 Undergraduate Research Symposium focused on Biological Sciences and Psychology.

Founded in 1988, the Midstates Consortium for Mathematics and Science was created by the Pew Charitable Trusts. The Consortium looks to improve undergraduate science and mathematics education through professional opportunities, allowing students to present their research and attend fellow research collaborations. 

This Symposium allows undergraduates from the areas of biology and psychology to present their research projects to peers and faculty in a professional setting outside of Gustavus. Research subjects range from ecology, environmental science, zoology, biochemistry, medicine, molecular biology, and other fields relating to biology and/or psychology.

Hosted by the University of Chicago, this group of Gusties (pictured above) was able to have first-hand experience in learning how to present research in a professional setting. Throughout this weekend’s event, there were both oral and poster presentations covering a large variety of biology and psychology-related research. 

Two of the presenters at this year’s conference were Kristin Simphoukham ‘24 and Emma Stock ‘25. During the summer of 2022 biology major Simphoukham and biology major / public health minor Stock completed research with genome engineering using CRISPR/Cas9 to investigate environmental stress in Arabidopsis thaliana alongside biology professor Katie Leehy. Both were excited about the opportunity to share this research with students and faculty from other schools. 

“I had a great time learning about the projects of other students and discovering what topics interest me. It was also really nice to get to spend time with students from other schools, to talk about our college experiences and our career goals,” said Kristin Simphoukham ‘24.

Both students expressed their appreciation for this opportunity and thoroughly enjoyed presenting their research to a group of experienced individuals.

“I loved Midstates. Being surrounded by other undergraduate students who are doing big things and will someday make a huge difference was amazing. I learned a lot and met a ton of people and got to be on the UChicago campus as well,” mentioned Emma Stock ‘25. 

Midstates is just one example of how Gusties are able to share their research. “Research at Gustavus is really accessible to students. I was able to learn so much because I was in a healthy environment where I felt comfortable asking questions and making mistakes,” said Kristin Simphoukham ‘24.


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