Environmental science graduate students succeed at conferences

August 13, 2012

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Media contact: Frank Raczkiewicz , (254) 710-1964
WACO, Texas (August 2, 2012)- Baylor University's environmental science department has a few reasons to celebrate. Several graduate students in the department took home awards at the American Water Resources Association's (AWRA) Summer Specialty Conferences and Regional Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) Conference.
Kristin Connors, a doctoral student in biomedical studies, and Bowen Du, a doctoral student in ecological, earth and environmental science, presented parts of their dissertation research at the AWRA conference. Their oral presentations involved giving a 20 minute talk about their research to conference attendees. Connors won second best platform presentation award and Du won fifth best.
"The AWRA summer specialty conference on contaminants of emerging concern is held every five years. It provides a dynamic venue for our students because a number of the top research groups from around the world participate. For Baylor doctoral students to be recognized with two of the top five platform awards at an international meeting speaks to the quality of their research and professional development relative to their peers in the field," said Dr. Bryan Brooks, professor of environmental science and biomedical studies, director of the Environmental Science Graduate Program and director of the Environmental Health Science Program at Baylor. "It further highlights the excellent opportunities for doctoral training in the environment sciences at Baylor."
SETAC is the leading global scientific society in environmental science. The North American geographic unit of SETAC is composed of regional chapters, which hold annual meetings in late spring and early summer, which is what Baylor students Tate Barrett and Kristin Connors participated in. Barrett, now a doctoral student in ecological, earth and environmental, and Connors won 1st place awards for the poster presentations and best platform, respectively. Krista Prosser, a masters student in environmental science, received the 3rd place award for best platform presentation.
"The fact that our students are being recognized at the international, national, regional, and university levels is a clear indication of the high quality of graduate students within environmental sciences and the value of interdisciplinary research to the overall mission of graduate education at Baylor University," said Dr. George Cobb, department chair and professor of environmental science.

Baylor University is a private Christian university and a nationally ranked research institution, characterized as having "high research activity" by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The university provides a vibrant campus community for approximately 15,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating university in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 11 nationally recognized academic divisions. Baylor sponsors 19 varsity athletic teams and is a founding member of the Big 12 Conference.

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by Mallory Hisler, student newswriter, (254) 710-6805