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EFSC Students Present Undergraduate Research

March 2, 2021 - Eastern Florida State College students presented their research this past weekend at the 2021 Virtual Florida Undergraduate Research Conference (FURC) held on February 26-27.

FURC, one of the nation’s largest multidisciplinary undergraduate research conferences, gives students an opportunity to showcase their research and enhance their research presentation skills. Florida State University and the Florida Undergraduate Research Association hosted Virtual FURC 2021, where more than 400 students from Florida colleges and universities presented their research through the event's interactive online platform.

Three EFSC students, Mia Hammonds and Savannah Luhn of the Melbourne Campus, and Stephanie Salonen of the Titusville Campus, presented at this year's conference under the mentorship of EFSC faculty and staff members Dr. Ashley Spring, Dr. Chris Petrie and Mary Garrett.

Virtual FURC Participants 2021
Pictured left to right: EFSC student researchers
Mia Hammonds, Savannah Luhn and Stephanie Salonen.

The students' research topics were as follows:

  • Mia Hammonds: Effects of Human Disturbance on Biomass and Biodiversity of the Indian River Lagoon
  • Savannah Luhn: Salinity Effects on Indian River Lagoon Invertebrate and Vertebrate Composition
  • Stephanie Salonen: HBOT Enhanced Physical Therapy: A Novel Approach to Improve Rehabilitation for Neurological Brain Injury

Hammonds and Luhn also presented their research during EFSC's Fall 2020 Virtual Undergraduate Research Exhibition.

"My mentor, Dr. Chris Petrie, and I thought it would be a good idea to showcase the research that I had done," said Salonen.

The opportunity to go out of my comfort zone and present to other people was a good educational experience as well. The thing that I enjoyed the most about this conference was the opportunity to connect with graduate school and admissions committees. I have already made an appointment with graduate admissions staff that I met at the conference that will help me with my future goals."

Virtual FURC 2021 featured a full conference agenda including workshops, student research presentations and poster sessions, a graduate school recruiter fair and networking meet-up sessions.

"For many students, FURC is the first opportunity to present their research to a large-scale audience and gain relevant feedback," said Office of Undergraduate Research Coordinator Mary Garrett.

"The experience is a practice in professionalism and helps students to sharpen their research presentation skills. The added value is a chance for our students to network with peers and professionals inside and outside their fields of study from colleges and universities around Florida."

The Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR) at EFSC organizes, promotes and supports student research and is hosting a Spring 2021 Virtual Undergraduate Research Exhibition with an April 8th submission deadline. For more information, contact the OUR at or 321-433-5535.