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Wesley Students Attend National Conference


Pictured left to right are: Wesley Professor of Mathematics Dr. Derald Wentzien, senior mathematics major Kasey Thompson, Professor of Chemistry Dr. Malcolm D’Souza, senior biology major Karri-Jo Walls, and junior biological chemistry major Catie Gross.

Wesley College students, Catherine Gross, Kasey Thompson, and Karri-Jo Walls, presented their undergraduate research on Feb 15 at American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Annual Meeting in Chicago, IL. This was the first time Wesley students presented at an AAAS conference. All three students competed against undergraduate, graduate, and Ph.D. students in their selected categories. Gross, Thompson, and Walls were also chosen as student session aides and helped the conference speakers with their presentations.
Gross, a junior biological chemistry major, worked with Dr. Malcolm D’Souza, professor of chemistry, and Jessica Cook, director of marketing on the DE-INBRE and DE-EPSCoR webpages on the Wesley College website. She presented her research titled “Disseminating STEM Student Research Outcomes on Dynamic Webpages.”  
Senior mathematics major, Thompson, presented her work “A Calculus Based Approach to Estimate the Volume of Asteroids,” under the direction of Dr. Derald Wentzien, professor of mathematics. Using the methodology developed in her research, Kasey estimated the volume of 36 asteroids.  Once the volume of an asteroid is known the mass can be estimated by multiplying the volume by the density.  Thompson received a NASA tuition grant to help conduct her research along with the DE-EPSCoR grant. 
Walls, a senior biology major, presented her research on “Correlation of BMI to Gender, and Lifestyle Factors & Behaviors of College Students,” under the mentorship of Dr. Lynn Everett, professor of biology, D’Souza and Wentzien. Walls compared the Center for Disease Control (CDC) national average for obesity to the average BMI of Wesley students and found the BMI of college students to be higher than the CDC reported value. Walls’ research was sponsored by the DE-INBRE grant.
“I was very pleased with the research and posters completed,” said Wentzien. “They all were very well prepared.”