Although the Association of Southeastern Biologists annual conference (April 16-19) in Spartanburg was hosted by two other colleges, it was the collaborative research efforts of Converse College biology students and faculty that were everywhere to be seen. The conference drew over 600 researchers and scientists from throughout the region and beyond.
Converse senior Christine Hendershott of Knoxville, Tennessee and William Stone of Quillen College of Medicine (East Tennessee State University) presented a paper entitled “Alpha-Tocopheryl Succinate, a Vitamin E Derivative, Inhibits the Growth of LNCaP Cells, a Prostate Cancer Line.”
Seniors Dalene Prouty of Ruther Glen, Virginia, Megan Burdette of Easley, South Carolina and Belda Thomas of Greer, South Carolina teamed with Converse Biology Professor Dr. Neval Erturk (winner of the 2008 Excellence in Teaching Award, South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities Inc.) and Psychology Professor Dr. Richard Keen to present a paper entitled “Effects of Caffeine on Temporal Perception.”
Kim Shorter, a junior from Sumter, South Carolina collaborated with Erturk for a paper presentation entitled “An Investigation of the Genetoxic Effects of the Pesticide Carbaryl.”
Biology Professor Dr. Douglas Jensen presented research entitled “Floristic Diversity within the Upper Cretaceous Middendorf Beds of Eastern South Carolina.” Jensen conducted the research with Brittney Ogez, a 2007 Converse alumna now studying at the University of Oklahoma.
Erturk provided key input for organizing the conference and led the Women in Science Luncheon which was sponsored by 1984 Converse Chemistry major Dr. Karen DeVore. Converse History Professor Dr. Melissa Walker, the 2007 South Carolina Professor of the Year, presented the keynote paper entitled “Research is a Passion With Me: Three Pioneer Women Scientists.” Also, an opinion piece authored by Walker entitled “Some of the Best Science Minds Belong to Women” was published in the Spartanburg Herald-Journal on the opening day of the conference.
Jensen presided over a session of Plant Biology talks and led a day-long Botany field trip to Bridal Veil Falls in North Carolina after the sessions ended.
Throughout the conference, seniors Baye Williamson of Kingsport, Tennessee, Ashley Carry of Amarillo, Texas and Kristina Blanchard of Columbia, South Carolina gathered data for a project studying gender biases in the scientific community.
Dr. Edna Steele, Associate Professor of Biology, served on the local planning committee for the conference and was the liaison between the ASB and the Society of Southeastern Parasitologists, an affiliated society.