Successful Outcomes: Research enriches the undergraduate experience at UAlbany

David Idell

David Idell in Dr. Vincent LaBella's lab

At the University at Albany students participate in research in many fields of study across the breadth of the arts and sciences curriculum. Sophomores David Idell of Fishkill, NY, and Laura Fredriksen from Long Island are currently engaged in research programs that have provided them with incredible opportunities.

While balancing a double major in computer science and physics, Idell found time to participate in research at the University's College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering. He was recently awarded an Undergraduate Research Assistants Award through Intel Corporation's Semiconductor Research Corporation Education Alliance (SRCEA). As a recipient of this prestigious award, Idell will receive funding to continue his work in the lab with faculty mentor, Dr. Vincent LaBella. Idell's research involves writing software programs that analyze information, some of which have been invaluable in reducing large amounts of statistical data down to the most important.

Dr. Vincent LaBella

Dr. Vincent LaBella

Idell's mentor, Dr. LaBella, enjoys working with students. "They have so much energy and are able to work with ideas that further their education." As for Idell's future, although he still has two years of undergraduate studies left, he is already giving some thought to his graduate research. "I like it here at the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering and would like to continue my involvement in the cutting-edge technologies that are being developed here," said Idell.


Laura Fredriksen

Laura Fredriksen in chemistry lab

UAlbany's chemistry department also offers opportunities for undergraduates to become involved in research. Laura Fredriksen is currently working under faculty mentor, Dr. Igor Lednev, in studying the mechanism of amyloid fibril formation. Several degenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's and Parkinson's are associated with amyloid fibrillation, but what Fredriksen has learned goes beyond the technical aspects of research.

Involvement in research has greatly shaped her experience at UAlbany. "I love being involved with the faculty," said Fredriksen, "It also helps with my classes because I'm able to work with the material that I've learned."

Dr. Igor Lednev and Laura Fredriksen

Dr. Igor Lednev and Laura Fredriksen

Laura's mentor, Dr. Lednev, encourages undergraduates to participate in research. "Students learn a great deal from research including how to work in a team, work with current literature from specialized journals and develop presentational skills." His research group is focusing on analytical and bioanalytical chemistry and spectroscopy. They are proud of a sophisticated laser spectroscopic apparatus that was recently built; only two other labs in the world have similar capabilities. "The University is committed to the student experience and will always find an appropriate way for creating the most favorable conditions for students, like Laura, to ensure their success and satisfaction," he said.

This feature story is by Jennifer Lonschein who is a senior, English major.

Related Links:
College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering
Department of Chemistry

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