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Academic Excellence Conference Offers Variety of Compelling Research

Keene State College Students Present Research on Variety of Topics from Facebook Addiction to Mathematical Observations

Keene State College students will present research during the 14th Annual Academic Excellence Conference – the event is free and open to the public. Student research findings and presentations cover a variety of topics, from Facebook addiction, to properties of square triangular numbers. This event brings together student scholars and their families, faculty and staff mentors, other members of the Keene State community, area legislators, system trustees, and members of the Keene community in celebration of academic research and other forms of scholarship.

“The variety and complexity of research that Keene State students are undertaking, and the mentoring they are receiving from their faculty, is incredible,” said Dr. Ann Rancourt, associate provost for academic affairs at Keene State College. “We encourage anyone with an interest in learning about a wide variety of topics to come by the conference. You will catch a glimpse of what our future leaders have to offer, and you will learn something new.”

Interviews with faculty and students are available. Images may be available upon request.

When: Saturday, April 5, 2014 from 9 a.m. to 5:15 p.m.

Where: Lloyd P. Young Student Center and David F. Putnam Science Center, Keene State College

The full schedule of presentations can be viewed at:

Snapshots of research to be presented:

Obesity in America - The Causes of the Obesity Crisis: The Dominant Paradigm is Wrong
Students will present a theory of the obesity crisis based on environmental determinants rather than personal responsibility. They will discuss research into solutions to the crisis.

Narrative, Identity and Leadership in Emerging Adulthood: Creating a Life of Intention
This project by the members of the Honors Interdisciplinary Senior Seminar explored, through an intrinsic case study utilizing personal data analysis, history, interviews, narrative and focused reflection, the life of an emerging adult as s/he explored the development of adult identity and leadership during the college years. Students will present what they’ve learned about themselves from this process.

True Life, I’m Addicted to Facebook: The Popularity of Facebook in College Students’ Lives
Social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have become extremely popular over time. The findings of the present study will help college students realize the addictive nature of Facebook and the distractions it poses.

Do Bacteria in the Brook Trout Gut Microbiome Have the Genetic Potential to Modulate Mercury Toxicity?
A biology faculty member and student are collaborating on a research grant from NH Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR). Fish can be exposed to mercury found in the environment, and this research project is focused on identifying which bacteria in fish are changing mercury into different forms – some forms of mercury are more toxic than the mercury found in the environment itself. This research is being conducted by isolating DNA from guts of brook trout, which were collected in two streams flowing into Lake Sunapee, in NH. As humans consume fish, this study provides insight into how mercury in the environment may not accurately reflect the kind of mercury that humans consume, when they eat fish.

This year’s Academic Excellence Conference is sponsored by the Advancement Division, Associate Provost’s Office, Keene State College Parents Association, Keene State College Student Assembly, Lloyd P. Young Student Center and Office of the President.

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Keene, New Hampshire 03435