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Westminster Undergraduate Scholars Forum to take place today

by Michael Shine | April 21, 2022 at 4:00 a.m.
FILE: The columns at Westminster College are shown.

Westminster College will host its 15th annual Undergraduate Scholars Forum in person today for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic started.

The goal of the event is to give students an opportunity to learn from people in other disciplines, but it is also open to members of the public interested in learning the students.

Classes are paused for the day while over 100 students from 16 academic programs present original research through multimedia projects, papers and posters.

The day starts at 9 a.m. with a keynote address by alumna Rebecca Stubbs, class of 2008, who will be livestreamed from the University of Zurich in Switzerland.

Mary Majerus, forum co-director and director of the Center for Teaching and Learning, said Stubbs has an inspiring story.

"It is a true pleasure to welcome back Rebecca Stubbs this year as keynote speaker," Majerus adds. "I believe the students will relate well to her story and be inspired by what is possible in their own futures."

Stubbs' family helped start the forum and her presentation will celebrate its 15th year.

She will discuss current research in the field of evolutionary biology and how her career developed since earning a degree in environmental science with a minor in chemistry from Westminster.

"As an undergraduate at Westminster, I knew that I enjoyed science classes and was interested in being a scientist, but I was not sure how to turn that into a career," Stubbs said. "By exploring different options during my time at Westminster, and then also through graduate programs, I was able to discover my passions for plant biology, genetics, and bioinformatics."

She currently is a post-doctoral fellow in the Department of Systematic and Evolutionary Botany at the University of Zurich.

Stubbs earned her PhD in biology in 2018 from the University of Florida in Gainesville after earning a master's degree in biology with a concentration in ecology and systematic biology from San Francisco State University in 2012.

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