The 27 members of the iCons Program’s second full cohort, a.k.a. the Second Wave, received their official iCons certification during the Senior Expo on May 1 that celebrated the students' accomplishments in the program and their promising futures as leaders in science and technology.
The students showcased the original scientific research they undertook to address real world challenges—from detecting bacteria in drinking water to designing cheaper solar cells—for their iCons 4 thesis projects.
They presented their research during an afternoon poster session attended by faculty, peers, family, and guests including Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy, Vice Chancellor Mike Malone, Charles Sherwood, CEO of Anika Therapeutics, Peg Crowley-Nowick, CEO of Zipher Medical Affairs, Daniel McCormick, CTO of Waters Corporation, and Robert Mahoney, CEO of Belmont Savings Bank.
After the poster session, the recipients of the iCons Honorary Research Lectureship Award delivered presentations on their research:
- Margaret Chen '15, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
"Improving Sleep-Related Interventions Targeting Maladaptive Memories"
- Stefan Marco Eres '15, Chemistry
"High-Efficiency Organic Photovoltaics through Structural Control of Perylene Diimide Nanoparticles"
- Joanne Johnson '15, Biology
"Acheron-Regulated Survival of the Ptilinal Muscle in Drosophila melanogaster"
- Christopher Smith '15, Environmental Science
"Investigating the Longitudinal Extent of Thermal Alteration Downstream of Impoundments"
Following the presentations, all 27 students received golden cords from iCons Program Manager Jane Markarian, and were presented with certificates by iCons Program Director Scott Auerbach and iCons 1 Professor Justin Fermann.
"It's so exciting to see the iCons teaching approach come alive with the graduation of the Second Wave," says Auerbach. "Their research breakthroughs on real-world problems from solar energy to cancer genetics show that they are ready to hit the ground running after they leave UMass."
The celebration concluded with the annual iCons Senior Dinner, held this year in the Amherst Room at the Campus Center and featuring the keynote address from Dr. Sherwood and the presentation of the iCons Award to Hannah French '15.