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Graduate students featured at statewide STEM research forum

  • Forum participants
    Forum participants  (Left to right) William & Mary graduate students Johanna Folk, Cielomar Rodriguez-Calderón, Erica Holloman, Juan Carlos Cornejo, and Malcom Gethers participated in the seventh annual Graduate Student Research Forum.  Courtesy photo
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The College of William & Mary made a strong showing at the Seventh Annual Graduate Student Research Forum on Feb. 16 in Charlottesville, where five students presented posters on their innovative research in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) fields. 

The graduate students' posters focused on cutting-edge research in: software maintenance and evolution (Malcom Gethers, computer science), particle physics (Juan Carlos Cornejo, physics), dietary mercury exposure (Erica Holloman, marine science), sea-level rise and land-use conversion (Cielomar Rodriguez-Calderón, marine science), and emotional competence (Johanna Folk, psychology). 

Sponsored by the Virginia Council of Graduate Schools, the forum was held in conjunction with a planning conference funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to develop the Virginia Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (VAGEP). The alliance members, including the College of William & Mary, share the goal of advancing the participation of under-represented groups in graduate education and academic careers, particularly in STEM disciplines. 

Laurie Sanderson, dean of graduate studies and research in arts & sciences and a co-principal investigator on the NSF VAGEP planning grant, noted, “Our collaborative network of higher education institutions in the Commonwealth will have a major impact on the training and career development of Virginians in STEM fields.”

More information about the research forum and the Virginia Council of Graduate Schools can be found at