SALISBURY, MD---Former U.S. Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education Diane Auer Jones returns to her Alma Mater on Friday, April 29, to help celebrate the 10th Salisbury University Student Research Conference (SUSRC).
Jones is the plenary speaker at the milestone conference. Her talk, “Research—It’s Not Just a Job, It’s an Adventure,” is at noon in the Wicomico Room of the Guerrieri University Center. Refreshments will be served.
Prior to her appointment to the assistant secretary’s position, Jones served as deputy associate director for science in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy under President George W. Bush. Earlier in the decade, she also worked for the House of Representatives Science Committee Research Subcommittee and the National Science Foundation.
Jones has had a distinguished career in higher education. Beginning in 1988 as the head of the Upper Chesapeake Bay Water Quality Assessment Center at the Community College of Baltimore County, she served on the CCBC faculty for 10 years. She later returned to work in higher education, running Princeton University’s Washington, D.C., Office of Government Affairs from 2003-2005.
In addition, she has ventured into small business as the founding owner of a natural and gourmet food store and a healthcare and wellness center, and a founding co-owner of an environmental biotechnology company.
Jones is currently president and CEO of the Washington Campus, a non-profit organization dedicated to educating current and future business leaders about federal policy. She earned her B.S. in biology from SU and her M.S. in applied molecular biology from the University of Maryland Baltimore County.
While her talk stresses the importance of undergraduate research, more than 160 SU students demonstrate it firsthand during this year’s conference. With topics ranging from science fiction to local history, they present their work from 1:30-7:30 p.m. in Henson Science Hall and the Guerrieri University Center. Students from all four of SU’s schools share their work in oral presentation and poster sessions.
The SUSRC celebrates student scholarship, and artistic and professional achievement by giving students an opportunity to share their knowledge and developing abilities. Presentations are organized into themed sessions, ranging from molecular biology to music composition, education to economics.
Student research is an international movement in higher education, broadly recognized for giving undergraduate and graduate students a chance to focus their enthusiasm for a subject into the capstone experience of an independent project. This can take the form of a case study, a creative performance or portfolio, or an in-depth study of a problem in any academic discipline.
“The conference is one of SU’s many gemstones,” said Dr. Suzanne Osman of the Psychology Department, who chairs the event. “It’s pretty unusual for a university this size to hold an event of this quality and magnitude. Our campus has an academic culture that really supports scholarly exploration.”
Faculty increasingly are called on to guide students’ research and creative projects. In recognition of this, the SUSRC presents an annual Outstanding Research Mentor Award, announced at the conference during the poster session from 6-7:30 p.m.
A program of the sessions and poster titles will be available at the new SUSRC Web site, http://www.salisbury.edu/susrc. Admission is free and the public is invited.
For more information call 410-543-6030 or visit the SUSRC Web site.