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At most colleges and universities in the United States, undergraduate research is a rare phenomenon. However, at SUNY Plattsburgh, undergraduate research isn't rare at all, and in some areas of study, it's the norm.
SUNY Plattsburgh offers its students many opportunities to conduct research in major areas of study. Their research may include traveling to national conferences, working on nationally-funded research projects one-on-one with award-winning faculty and/or participating in internships.
Senior Chrissa Wright, a biochemistry and biology double major from Bernhards Bay, N.Y., recently traveled to the National Association for Biology Teachers (NABT) annual conference in Albuquerque, N.M., to present her research on paramecium and the hemoglobin gene. Her poster presentation, which was in competition with other college students from across the country, was awarded the NABT First Place Student Undergraduate Research Poster Award. She was also awarded data analyzing computer software and probes by Vernier, a biotech company, for the genetics lab at SUNY Plattsburgh.
Chrissa, under the mentorship of Dr. Nancy Elwess, associate professor of biological sciences, has been researching paramecium and the hemoglobin gene for the last three semesters. She has done extensive research on the paramecium, which is a single-celled organism.
Chrissa loves working on her research. She says that her projects have supplemented her regular class work and have allowed for more creative thinking.
"I am thankful for the research opportunities at SUNY Plattsburgh. Small class sizes and one-on-one connections with the professors put me ahead," said Chrissa, who transferred from SUNY Buffalo because she felt that SUNY Plattsburgh provides more opportunities for undergraduate students.
"My work would not have been able to be completed if SUNY Plattsburgh didn't have equipment and opportunities that it has to offer to its students," she said. "My research is funded by grants from the Dean's Office and travel grants from the College Auxiliary Services." In addition, she has national funding from Sigma Xi, the scientific research honor society.
After graduation, Chrissa is planning on getting her doctorate degree in neuroscience with a focus in genetics. She is currently applying to several top programs in the country, including Duke University, University of Connecticut and University of Vermont.
For more information about undergraduate research opportunities at SUNY Plattsburgh, please contact:
101 Broad St., Plattsburgh, NY 12901
Phone: (518) 564-2040
Toll-Free: (888) 673-0012
Fax: (518) 564-2045