University of Virginia
University of Virginia

e-News from the VA-NC Alliance

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Spring 2010

Welcome to Spring Semester, 2010!

While settling into your spring courses many of you in the Virginia-North Carolina Alliance (VA-NC Alliance) may be trudging through snow to get to your classes.  This has been a cold and wet winter!  Recently, I escaped the cold with twenty students to teach a January term course in the Caribbean called Disaster Preparedness in the West Indies: St. Kitts and Nevis.  While developing students' skills and increasing their knowledge base about disaster response, the earthquake struck 555 nautical miles away in Haiti,  impressing upon students the need for an informed, technologically equipped, and efficient response.  Not only have medical personnel been essential, but also scientists and engineers: Systems Engineers--to design the flow of aid through the bottleneck; Mechanical Engineers--to redesign infrastructure; Computer Scientists--to process and organize large data sets related to relief efforts; and Geoscientists--to discover the cause o f the quake and predict future ones.  Collaboration has been key, on-line and on-the-ground.  I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to study or conduct research abroad; and, if you have an opportunity to engage in collaborative research, then take it.  Employers are becoming increasingly cognizant of the value of hiring employees who are experienced collaborators and will contribute different perspectives, whether those points of view are derived from study abroad experiences, socio-economic class,  race, ethnicity, and/or gender.

As you plan for graduate school  you will need to secure summer research opportunities.  You can view a list on our homepage, conduct a web search to find a Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program that matches your interests, and discuss options with the program director at your institution. Consider coming to the University of Virginia for 8 weeks this summer. In collaboration with the Center for Chemistry of the Universe, the VA-NC Alliance has created a summer research experience here at U.Va. expressly for Alliance students and plans to host at least one student from each partner school. Students interested in Chemistry, Physics, Astronomy, Electrical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, and/or Computer Science please see our homepage for application materials for this program as well as a sum mer research opportunity in Systems Engineering developing a human patient simulation. The deadline has been extended-- applications are now due April 1st, 2010. Virginia Tech offers another valuable option, 10 weeks at the Summer Research Internship Program.

We look forward to seeing you and learning about your research projects at the Virginia-North Carolina Alliance's 3rd Annual Symposium scheduled for April 12-13th, 2010 at Bennett College for Women. As part of Bennett's Interdisciplinary Research Day the symposium will focus on Embracing Academic Diversity through Effective Research & Collaboration. Stay tuned for details regarding submission deadlines for oral and poster presentations.

On behalf of all of the VA-NC Alliance personnel we wish you the very best in your academic endeavors this semester. Please let us know how you are doing, email us about any research news and awards, and if you have any concerns please contact the VA-NC Alliance Program Director, Kristin Morgan, at


Dr. Marcus L. Martin

Around the Alliance in Spring 2010

Bennett College for Women

Conducting Scientific Research: A Necessity, not an Option!
As we continue the journey with our fellow VA-NC Alliance members... Read more.

Elizabeth City State University

The VA-NC Alliance at Elizabeth City State University Embraces FaceBook!
Members of the Elizabeth City State University VA-NC Alliance realized... Read more.

George Mason University

George Mason Alliance Combines Existing Programs with Innovation to Assist Students
George Mason University's (GMU's) Alliance staff continues to...Read more.

Johnson C. Smith University

The Johnson C. Smith Community Welcomes Dr. Woodrow Whitlow, NASA Deputy Associate Administrator
Dr. Woodrow Whitlow Jr. is... Read more.

Saint Augustine's College

Saint Augustine's Bridge Program Participant Returns for Second Summer of Research
Toshiba Mercer, a peer teacher... Read more.

University of Virginia
U.Va. Alliance Students Take Advantage of Multiple Undergraduate Research Opportunities

With strong support from U.Va. faculty... Read more.


Virginia Commonwealth University

Virginia Commonwealth University Alliance Student Hired to Work on 2009 iGEM Competition at MIT
During the summer of 2009, following her freshman year... Read more.

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Virginia Tech Alliance Program Welcomes Twenty New Students!
The Alliance program at Virginia Tech is pleased to announce... Read more.



e-News Archives:

09/29/2009 Fall, 2009 E-newsletter


02/18/2009 Spring, 2009 E-newsletter