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Lauren Yancer '21
Throughout summer 2021, senior Biology student Seydel Acuña conducted research on bacterial biofilms. More specifically, she focused her research on the effects that different environmental factors have on the biofilm formation of bacterial isolates that were collected from the skin of freshwater fish.
Seydel presented her research at the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS) in November 2021. The organization consists of a large community of underrepresented minorities in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The goal of the conference is to enable students to present their research findings, enhance their professional development skills, become educated about graduate programs, and network.
After her presentation at the conference, Seydel received the ABRCMS 2021 Presentation Award. Hundreds of students from large research universities presented at the event. This was the first year a GMercyU student participated.
According to Dr. Stacey Lettini, Associate Professor of Biology at GMercyU, the award demonstrates that students can share their original research even if they attend a small university. Dr. Lettini also shared that Seydel’s research posed many new biological questions that she believes will lead to new research projects in the future.
Though initially intimidated by the number of students participating from well-recognized research schools, Seydel expressed that the experience was a wonderful learning opportunity. She is grateful for the opportunity to enhance her presentation skills while also taking on the challenge of presenting through a large platform.
“My biggest takeaway from this experience was the confidence that I gained after participating in the conference,” Seydel said.
“I owe a huge thanks to my research advisor, Dr. Stacey Lettini, who urged me to present and supported me throughout the process. Also, a shoutout to Dr. McEliece who helped me practice my presentation. Finally, a huge thank you to Gwynedd Mercy University, who provided a stipend award that allowed me to conduct my research over the summer,” Seydel said.