The University of the Virgin Islands’ College of Science and Mathematics has announced the winners of the Spring Research Symposium held March 24, at the Great Hall on the University’s Albert A. Sheen Campus.
The first-place award went to Stephan Bitterwolf. His topic was “Coral Community Structure Change of Brewer’s Bay, St. Thomas USVI After a 30-year Period.” His research was done at UVI with Dr. Marilyn Brandt as his mentor. Bitterwolf also worked in collaboration with a professor at the University of Hawaii. Second place went to Jewel Cumberbatch for her research titled “Investigation of Doping in Graphene.” Her work was conducted at both UVI and the Brookhaven National Laboratory. Her UVI mentor was Dr. Wayne Archibald. Cumberbatch is a HBCU-UP Research Scholar.
Some 30 UVI undergraduate and graduate students presented their innovative scientific research. Research areas included biology, environment, chemistry, mathematics, and physical and computer sciences.
Most of the student research was conducted while participating in programs funded by the National Science Foundation and National Institutes of Health. These programs include the Minority Access to Research Careers (MARC), the Minority Biomedical Research Support Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement (MBRS RISE), and the Historically Black Colleges and Universities Undergraduate Program (HBCU-UP) programs – the Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE), the Sophomore Summer Research Institute (SSRI), and the HBCU-UP Scholars program.
Bitterwolf also won an award for his presentation of the same research at the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS) Conference which took place in St. Louis last November. At ABRCMS, he was in competition with students from more than 700 universities. Bitterwolf is a MARC Scholar.
The symposium’s 23-person team of judges – comprised of university faculty, engineers, and high school science and mathematics teachers – included three UVI alumni who were past national ABRCMS winners while enrolled as full-time UVI science and math majors.
Organizers noted all the presentations were of high quality and extended congratulations to all winners and their mentors. The symposium is a part of UVI's continuing effort to promote excellence in learning by fostering student research and improving student communication skills in science and mathematics.
The event is organized by the Emerging Caribbean Scientists Programs office in UVI's College of Science and Mathematics. For more information contact the UVI Emerging Caribbean Scientists Programs at (340) 693-1397.