On April 4-5, East Tennessee State University hosted the 2018 Appalachian Student Research Forum (ASRF) at the Millennium Center.

The forum is an opportunity for undergraduate, graduate, and medical students as well as post-doctoral fellows to present their research in a formal setting. Participation is free, but students must present an abstract before a deadline in order to be accepted to participate. Undergraduates cannot give oral presentations, but are invited to present their research posters alongside graduate and medical students on the second day of the forum.

According to the forum’s website, ETSU first held this event in 1985 in order to foster student research and initiative. 

“Throughout its history, East Tennessee State University has placed emphasis on research and the mission to conduct scholarship that improves the human condition,” said the site.  

Presentations were accepted for a variety of different topics, though most focused on science and medicine, and this year’s titles ranged from “Cleopatra: Perceptions and Reality” by Laura Carr to “Virulent Bacteria in Appalachian Tennessee Waters” by Rachel Miller, Alex Yu and Demetrio Macariola.

This year the keynote speaker at the event was Dr. Richard Ignace, professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy and the Director of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities at East Tennessee State University.

According to his presentation abstract, Ignace is interested in the impact that massive stars have on cosmic evolution.

“I discuss recent efforts at discerning the environments of mass stars – winds, shells, clumps, disks, and other structures – for resolving these outstanding issues,” said Ignace. 

But in a larger sense, Ignace is interested in human knowledge.

“One of the things that most fascinates me is how we know the things that we claim to know.  Astronomical study is an excellent subject in which to explore this fascination, since in the effort to understand the history of the universe and its future trajectory, humans are limited to surveying the heavens from only the Earth,” Ignace said.

To learn more about past ASRFs and how you can get involved next year visit https://www.etsu.edu/studentresearch/default.php.