Concord Sophomore Wins Prestigious Award in International Competition Against Graduate Students

For Immediate Release: 
Aug 21 2002

Concord Sophomore Wins Prestigious Award in International Competition Against Graduate Students

Athens, W.Va. - Ms. Patricia Silva, a sophomore at Concord College performed research at James Madison University during the summer of 2002. She collaborated with two other undergraduates, Kristine Grayson of Davison College (North Carolina) and Heather Edgerton of Bridgewater College (Virginia). Their work was presented at the International Conference on Copepoda (a type of microscopic crustacean) at National Taiwan Ocean University, in Keelung, Taiwan, July 21-26.

Ms. Silva and her two collaborators competed with 60 Master’s and Ph.D. students; her group was the only undergraduate group entered into the competition; all others were Master’s and dissertation students.

Ms. Silva and her two collaborators received one of the 10 awards for which 60 students competed. The criteria were (1) contribution to scientific knowledge and (2) quality of presentation. The title of their presentation was “Embryonic Duration and Genome Size in Cyclopoid Copepods.” In addition to a certificate, they received a monetary award of $200.

The research was supported by the National Science Foundation. The researchers studied an unusual phenomenon in zooplankton, which supported a popular scientific viewpoint.

“The culture work often required around-the-clock observations, and the student’s energy, enthusiasm, and diligence produced a remarkable data set that I venture to say is unparalleled in its precision and detail,” stated Dr. Grace A. Wyngaard, professor with James Madison University’s Department of Biology.

“Patricia was a very strong member of my research team this summer,” continued Professor Wyngaard. She demonstrated strong evidence of developing many of the traits of a true scholar, and Concord College should be commended on its efforts to nurture this in its students … she helped my laboratory build a collaborative team that produced the best work of any summer group I have mentored.”

“Working in Dr. Wyngaard's laboratory was, without a doubt, the best experience I've ever had,” stated Ms. Silva. “We put into practice what we learned in school. Taking chemistry last year was a very tough experience, and I would always complain. Well, let's just say that I am glad I had Dr. Jones at Concord, or I wouldn't have survived this summer experience.”

When asked why she chose Concord, Ms. Silva stated: “First, I made a profile about what I wanted in a college or university, then I logged on to the Internet and Concord met all my criteria.”

Ms. Silva is a sophomore majoring in pre-professional biology. She is from Sao Luis, Brazil, and will graduate in May 2004. She plans to attend medical school.

For information on attending Concord call 1-888-384-5249 or 1-304-384-5248 or e-mail