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Mora honored for helping BGSU students present research on and off campus

BOWLING GREEN, O.-Dr. Cordula Mora, a research assistant professor in the Department of Psychology at Bowling Green State University, was presented the Elliot L. Blinn Award for Faculty-Undergraduate Student Basic Research/Creative Work at the Faculty Recognition Awards April 10.

The award recognizes innovative, basic research/creative work conducted by faculty members in collaboration with undergraduate students. The award is given in memory of Dr. Elliott Blinn, professor of chemistry who devoted his career to sharing with his undergraduate students the excitement of the process of discovery by directly involving them in innovative, basic research.

Mora received a $2,500 award, which included $1,250 transferred to a department account for the continued collaborative research activities with BGSU undergraduate students, as well as a $1,250 cash prize.

Mora's work with Merissa Acerbi, an undergraduate student researcher in the University's J.P. Scott Center for Neuroscience, Mind and Behavior, helped develop a study that looked at the homing pigeon's ability to utilize its innate magnetic compass, while trying to understand where in the pigeon's brain magnetic compass information is processed. Not only has this research enhanced Acerbi's educational experience at BGSU, it has also helped pave her career path by giving her the chance to network and present her research at various conferences.

Acerbi presented work at the 2012 Society for Neuroscience conference, the biggest annual conference in her field. She said she is thankful for the opportunity, noting, "I could not have accomplished the work I presented there without the guidance of my mentor and continual feedback that she gives me each and every day."

BGSU President Mary Ellen Mazey wrote that Mora's work with Acerbi "has had a significant impact on enhancing her (Acerbi's) interest in research and in defining a future path for her. Her experiences in presenting her work at national conferences and her interactions at these conferences will set the foundation for her work at the next level."

Mora is a firm believer in building a strong foundation with those students she mentors. She encourages her students to attend regional, national and even international conferences and to work with her on the publication of their research results.

"I believe that having undergraduate students participate in research is crucially important for their career development," Mora wrote. "Having a resume that shows active involvement in research as an undergraduate gives the student a competitive advantage."

(Posted April 11, 2013 )