members who encourage students to participate in the Undergraduate and Graduate
Scholars Forums can help students go well beyond what they initially imagined for their
Stone didn’t know she had a winning submission to the Undergraduate Scholars
Forum (USF) when she won in 2015 with her research on indoor air pollution
exposure and prevention. Regardless,
Stone, put her best effort in researching and interpreting data with the help
of her research advisor, professor Anne Simmons.
In a 100-level science class, professor
Simmons offered her students the chance to co-present a report on toxicology to
Pennsylvania science teachers. Stone, of
course, was the volunteer, and she “greatly enjoyed” working with Simmons
in this capacity. The next stage was
development: Stone and Simmons
collaborated to create a survey on how toxicology and indoor air pollution were
viewed and taught in public school curricula. This was the backbone to her presentation at the forum, but it is not
everything Stone learned.
In an interview, Stone said, “From
presenting at conferences and doing research, I have learned that educators
(and future educators) are frequently underestimated.” She elaborated, claiming that discussing her
research with others often resulted in “incredulity.” Since Stone wants to be a
middle-grades science teacher in the future, she stresses how important it is
for others in her position to take advantage of research opportunities like her
Readers, do not be fooled: Stone’s work was incredibly difficult to
complete, and she was rewarded for it, with the aforementioned USF honor. Stone and Simmons together had to
complete all the grunt work with approval from the Institutional Review Board
(IRB), which meant a lot of approvals and a lot of stress.
This was not an easy process to
understand: Hilliary Creely helped
guide Stone and Simmons along IUP’s research process, since she was
somewhat more familiar. What this
ultimately meant was that Stone got the go-aheads necessary, and all surveys
were in place to quantify the results.
Winning at the 2015 USF has not
slowed Stone. In 2016,
she began work on the knowledge the average college student has about Lyme’s
Disease. Stone intends to present this
at the 2016 USF and has been selected to present this research in
Harrisburg in April.
Best of luck, Victoria, and everyone
else who presents in this year’s forum!
compiled and written by Ursus