Molecular biophysics researcher featured at Coe Student Research Symposium

Extra: Rod Pritchard, Director of Marketing and Public Relations
(319) 399-8605 or

2009-03-25 10:58:38 - General

Coe graduate Desirae Leipply, class of 2004, will discuss her graduate work in molecular biophysics as part of the college's ninth annual Student Research Symposium. The event will be held on Wednesday, April 8, with more than 100 Coe students showcasing their academic projects. The event runs throughout the day in various locations on the Coe campus. It is free and open to the public.

During her time at Coe, Leipply managed to complete a physics major and conducted research in Coe's physics department through an international Research Experience for Undergraduates program at Schott Glas Company in Mainz, Germany. In addition, Leipply was named the national Phi Kappa Phi Distinguished Scholar and was the Society of Physics Students Outstanding Leadership Scholarship recipient.

While earning her Ph.D. at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, she carried out fundamental research into the nature of RNA-ion interactions while also earning a black belt in Taekwondo. Leipply will discuss how she decided to pursue her Ph.D., the experience of earning a doctoral degree in an interdisciplinary field, and the opportunities that have resulted. Originally from Colorado Springs, the alumna will also speak about how life at Coe prepared her for graduate work and what future graduate students can expect in the years ahead.

The symposium presentations, which range from academic research to artistic display and performance, are the culmination of work done by students over the past academic year. Some of the student work has been done independently, with some accomplished as part of a student and faculty team. The featured work represented in the symposium is the result of honors projects, student participation in ongoing professional research programs, and the cumulative product of an undergraduate career of achievement in the arts. Each case reflects an extraordinary effort by a highly motivated student.

The symposium will follow a format similar to that of a professional conference. There will be panels, moderated by faculty members, in which students present papers. There will also be a poster session where students will display and discuss the results of their work.

In addition, there will a graduate and professional school panel consisting of recent Coe graduates. They include Darbie Little, class of 2005, a chemistry/biochemistry major at Coe, who is currently on leave from the M.D. program at the University of Iowa to complete a master's in public health and a master's in health administration; Laura Farmer '02, a religion and create writing major at Coe, who earned a master's degree in English from Syracuse University; and Tracey Freiberg '07, an economics major at Coe who has earned a master's degree in economics from Duke University.

A general schedule of the day's events includes:

9 - 11 a.m.: Poster session in the Perrine Gallery of the Stewart Memorial Library.
11:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.: Plenary talk featuring Desirae Leipply in Kesler Lecture Hall of Hickok Hall.
Noon - 1 p.m.: Graduate school panel discussion in Lynch Room of Gage Memorial Union
1:15 - 4:50 p.m.: Oral presentation sessions at various campus locations.
5 - 6 p.m.: Reception with refreshments in the Perrine Gallery.

For more information or a complete symposium schedule, call 399-8581.