Katherine Greco asks Marty Meehan about interdisciplinary programs

UMass President-elect Marty Meehan came to campus and iCons student Katherine Greco ’16 asked him about interdisciplinary programs such as iCons. Watch the video

Senior Expo 2015 celebrates the Second Wave iCons cohort

i-Cons 2015: Second Wave graduation

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.

Explore iCons student research in three grand finales for our Spring courses!

Deborah Lee, iCons First Class

The iCons Program is proud to invite the campus community to a series of final events that showcase the interdisciplinary problem solving, original research, and sophisticated communication training our students have undertaken in their iCons courses this semester. Please join us for these special events showcasing the future leaders in science and technology!

Friday, May 1st, 3:30 to 5:30:
The iCons 4 Senior Research Expo (ISB Atrium / 135)

Tuesday, May 5th, 10:30 to 12:30:
The iCons 3 Genomics/Energy Innovation Labs Poster Session (ILC S120)

Wednesday, May 6th, 6:00 to 8:00:
The iCons 1 and 2 Poster Session & Annual Energy Debate (ISB Atrium / 135)

The iCons Senior Research Expo

Detecting bacteria in drinking water, designing cheaper solar cells, protecting vulnerable coastlines from the impacts of climate change - just a few of the real-world challenges that students in the iCons Program's 2nd cohort “The Second Wave” tackled in their iCons 4 thesis projects. On Friday, May 1st, come see a showcase of the original research the students undertook this year in UMass faculty laboratories during the Second Annual iCons Senior Research Expo

From 3:30 to 4:30, All of the iCons seniors will present their research during a poster session from 3:30 to 4:30 pm in the atrium of the Integrated Sciences Building. Then the four recipients of the iCons Honorary Research Lectureship Award will deliver oral presentations on their work in the ISB Auditorium from 4:30 to 5:30.

Nominated for this honor by their iCons research advisors, students Margaret Chen, Stefan Marco Eres, Joanne Johnson, and Christopher Smith will present on the following topics:

  • "Improving Sleep-Related Interventions Targeting Maladaptive Memories", Margaret Chen (Biochemistry & Molecular Biology)
  • "High-Efficiency Organic Photovoltaics through Structural Control of Perylene Diimide Nanoparticles", Stefan Marco Eres (Chemistry)
  • "Acheron-Regulated Survival of the Ptilinal Muscle in Drosophila melanogaster", Joanne Johnson (Biology)
  • "Investigating the Longitudinal Extent of Thermal Alteration Downstream of Impoundments Research", Christopher Smith (Environmental Science)

The Senior Expo provides an opportunity to celebrate how much all of our students have accomplished over the course of the iCons program as they share their real contributions to addressing societal problem through scientific solutions. At the end of the presentations, the seniors will be presented official iCons certificates in recognition of their tremendous accomplishments over the course of the four-year program. Join us as we congratulate our second full cohort of iCons graduates!

The iCons 3 Genomics/Energy Lab Poster Session

On Tuesday, May 5th, learn about the original research findings of students in the iCons 3 Lab courses during an electronic poster session in the room S-120 in the new Integrative Learning Center.

From 10:30 to 12:30, teams of students from the iCons 3 Biomedicine - “Gene and Genome Analysis” - and iCons 3 Renewable Energy - “Lab Discovery in Renewable Energy” - will take turns presenting and answering questions about their research in 15-minute blocks.

The iCons 1 & 2 Poster Session & Annual Energy Debate

On Wednesday, May 6th, check out a poster session featuring double the research: iCons 1 students will share the results of their team research projects on [], and iCons 2 Biomedicine students will share the results of their []. As you peruse the posters from iCons 2, be sure to vote for your favorites in the following three categories:

Then head into the auditorium (ISB 135) to hear select teams from the iCons 2 Renewable Energy class debate their proposals for the Sustainable UMass Innovation Fund. During the Annual Public Energy Debate, the student teams will make their case on the following question:

Which proposal can best use the sustainability fund to create a quantifiably positive impact on campus sustainability within the next 5 years?

  • Aquaponics: More Efficient Agriculture
  • Green Gasoline: Biomass-to-Liquid Fuels
  • Green Power: Biomass-fired Power Plant
  • Solar Energy: Combined Heat and Power
  • Smart Trash: More Efficient Waste Management

For the winning team, the ultimate prize could be the implementation of their proposal on campus through the sustainability fund.

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