STEM Students Present at NIU Foundation Board Meeting

On October 17, 2014, eleven students presented research posters to the NIU Foundation Board.  The purpose of the NIU Foundation Board is to connect the private sector with the NIU community to secure and steward resources that support the future and growth of NIU.  This meeting, entitled IMPACT, focused solely on NIU students and the current research being implemented thanks to the efforts of the NIU Foundation Board.

STEM students, Matt Woodall (pictured to the far left) and Ashley Pales (pictured below), were among the eleven students who presented at a poster session before lunch.  Matt Woodall’s research, accomplished through the program Undergraduate Research Assistantships (URA), consists of designing and building a quality control vision system to detect various defects typically found in SKF Sealing Solutions.

blog 3 Matt Woodall

“This experience has given me more than I could ever have asked for. I was to able apply what I was learning in the classroom directly to a design project and at the same time, expand my knowledge with learning about PLCs and industrial vision systems. This experience has given me something to show future employers that I am a capable employee. I express much gratitude to NIU, Dr. Julia Spears, and Dr. Mirman for giving me the opportunity.”                                                                                                  -Matt Woodall



Ashley Pales research, accomplished through the NIU Program Research Experience for blog 3 Ashley PalesUndergraduates (REU), focused on analyzing a specific chemical signaling pathway of great importance in corals. This project has implications in understanding how coral beaching will be affected by future climate change.

“This opportunity helped me immensely in order to give me the skills and experiences I needed to truly understand what it takes to be a good researcher.  This experience has also given me the skill sets that will make me competitive for entering into graduate school and as a future graduate student!”                        -Ashley Pales


In addition to the poster session earlier in the day, three STEM students, Shekinah Bergmann, Zachary Howard, and Miguel Marchan, were chosen to speak throughout the board meeting about their summer research and the impact of these experiences.  These students have been a part of a number of research experiences facilitated through NIU, including Research Rookies, McKearn Fellows, and internships at Fermilab.

From the student presentations, it is clear that the research opportunities offered to NIU students are impactful.  We, the staff and students, express our deep gratitude for the NIU Foundation Board’s diligence in seeking out more resources to expand these opportunities for students at Northern Illinois University.





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