Posted: May 16, 2012

CCU student recognized on Capitol Hill for research achievement

  Olga Tweedy (left) with former U.S. Rep. Bart Gordon of Tennessee, former chairman of the House Committee on Science and Technology and winner of the Honorary CUR Fellows Award  
Olga Tweedy, a junior marine science major at Coastal Carolina University, was among 74 undergraduates from U.S. colleges and universities to be recognized for research achievement at the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) Poster on the Hill (POH) event in Washington, D.C., last month.

The only representative from South Carolina, Tweedy was selected from more than 850 nominees nationwide to attend this prestigious event based on the quality of her work and progress. Her research, funded by the National Science Foundation, involves using model simulations and NASA observations to examine the natural wintertime ozone variation over the Northern Hemisphere polar region related to the abrupt reversal of stratospheric winds. Her adviser and mentor on the project is Var Limpasuvan, professor of physics at CCU.

As part of event, Tweedy visited the offices of U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson (S.C. 2nd district) and U.S. Sens. Lindsey Graham and Jim DeMint to discuss her research and emphasize the importance of undergraduate research, particularly at CCU, as part of her experiential learning.

Tweedy's trip to Washington was made possible by support from CCU's College of Science. "The College is pleased to have the resources to showcase the success of our students on a national stage," said Michael Roberts, dean of the College of Science. "The hands-on studies, exemplified in CUR's Posters on the Hill event, are a key aspect of the educational process in the College of Science at Coastal Carolina University."

The Council for Undergraduate Research, founded in 1978, is a national organization of individual and institutional members representing more than 900 colleges and universities. Its mission is to support and promote high-quality undergraduate student-faculty collaborative research and scholarship. CUR's annual Posters on the Hill event is designed to inform Capitol Hill constituencies about undergraduate student research outcomes. Each student presents his or her research, displayed on posters, to the members of Congress, congressional staff members, federal government officials and others in attendance. The definition of Undergraduate Research is "an inquiry or investigation conducted by an undergraduate student that makes an original intellectual or creative contribution to the discipline."

Tweedy, who is minoring in applied mathematics, began her research work as a sophomore and hopes to pursue atmospheric science at the graduate level. She was recently selected to participate in the National Center for Atmospheric Research Undergraduate Leadership Workshop at the University of Colorado at Boulder in June.

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