GCC Students Present Academic Research at UMass Conference

April 29, 2022

AMHERST – Seven Greenfield Community College students presented their research at the annual Massachusetts Undergraduate Research Conference, hosted by UMass-Amherst but held virtually, on April 22.

The seven students participated in the state-wide conference with GCC faculty who helped guide their important projects. GCC interim President Richard Hopper guest chaired a panel at the conference, serving with other leaders from across Massachusetts higher education.

The seven students presented on a variety of topics, including race and representation in college social media, tools and techniques in gene editing, Irish immigration to the United States, and the social and cultural systems of the American Crow.
“The GCC students who presented at this conference represent the character and top-rate intellectual capacity of emerging scholars in Massachusetts. The quality of the research projects clearly demonstrated the sort of rigor and depth of thought we all hope to see in our students,” Hopper said. “We’re incredibly proud of the expertise that was demonstrated by not only GCC students, but also by the other participants. The knowledge sharing at the MassURC was exemplary and I’m so grateful to have been a part of this event.”

The student presenters and their research were:

  • Meghan Renee Gildea (who worked with GCC faculty mentor Alyssa Arnell), “Irish Immigration: The Role of Assimilation Alongside Citizenship Restriction”
  • Margot Kuhns Schmitt (who worked with GCC faculty mentor Amanda Hyde): “Natural Selection and Mental Illness”
  • Maria Taylor Mendez (who worked with GCC faculty mentor Amanda Hyde): “Make Way for Amphibians: Why did the Salamander Cross the Road?”
  • Alexander Martin Keyes (who worked with GCC faculty mentor Amanda Hyde): “Crows and (Anarcho-)Communism: A Study of Social and Cultural Systems in the American Crow”
  • Kaiden William Boisjolie (who worked with GCC faculty mentor Amanda Hyde): “The Geneticists Toolbox: A Close Look at the Various Tools and Techniques Used in Gene Editing”
  • Stacy Ward Blackadar (who worked with GCC faculty mentor Linda McCarthy): “Adoption Policies Fail LGBTQIA+ Families”
  • Megan Nicole Velez (who worked with GCC faculty mentor Linda McCarthy): “That’s Me in the Corner, That’s Me in the Spotlight: Analyzing Distortion of Racial Demographic Representation on Community College Instagrams”

GCC students will have another opportunity to present their research at the GCC Student Symposium on Friday, May 6, from noon to 2 p.m. The Symposium is hosted by GCC’s Nahman-Watson Library.