What is the Stupka Symposium?
The Stupka Undergraduate Research Symposium came from the mind of Robert "Rob" J. Stupka III (picture to the right), an undergraduate student, in the fall of 2005. He and his fellow classmates worked to turn this idea into a reality; however, Rob would not see the symposium he worked so fervently to plan. On November 30, 2005, Rob passed away after a pedestrian-vehicle accident in front of the Molecular Biology Building. Rob envisioned the symposium to be an opportunity for undergraduate students to showcase their research and experience the need for communication in science. Rob's contagious enthusiasm drove his classmates to hold the first symposium in the spring of 2006; the enthusiasm has never gone away. Undergraduates, inspired by Rob's vision and story, have continued to lead and plan 16 consecutive, annual symposia, including this year's 16th Symposium.
Each year, the undergraduates who plan the symposium do their best to leave their legacy on this tradition and fulfill Rob's vision. At this year's hybrid symposium, around 40 undergraduate students are given the opportunity to present a poster showcasing their research, and three students were chosen to present their research in a keynote presentation. Additionally, the planning committee chooses two scientists from across the country and invited an alum speaker to present their research. The symposium has evolved to give undergraduate students the most opportunities to interact with each other and the invited speakers to discuss science- this happens through a day full of open-house poster sessions and several interactive meals. It is the committee's pleasure to announce that the 2022 Stupka Symposium will still involve these hallmark discussions in-person, but with a virtual streaming option. With each symposium, we see a rise in attendance; in 2019, we had around 200 students, faculty, and other scientists join us. At our online symposium last year, we had 200 virtual attendees from across the nation join us.
Why should I donate?
The committee is excited to welcome everyone back as we host this year's in-person event with virtual streaming options. However, we need your help to make this year’s symposium possible.
- As always, the committee will provide free registration, meals, and parking permits. Since 2020, we also simulate in-person events for our virtual attendees, and this involves extra expenses. Your donations will be directly used to support these baseline expenses.
- Funds beyond baseline expenses allow us to welcome high-caliber keynote and alumni speakers that elevate the symposium. The speakers give all attendees, especially undergraduate students, the unique opportunity to learn about other topics in biochemistry that they normally wouldn't hear about in class or in their own labs, a chance to engage with the speakers over lunch and poster sessions, and the opportunity to experience the environment of a professional conference. Please read more about this year's speakers below!
- Finally, any extra money raised through this FundISU will be used to grow our endowment, which provides a safety net to support future symposia.
The 2022 Stupka Symposium will feature keynote speakers Dr. Jason McLellan, a tenured Professor of Molecular Biosciences at The University of Texas at Austin, and Dr. Elizabeth Haswell, an Associate Professor of Biology and an HHMI-Simon Faculty Scholar at Washington University in St. Louis. Additionally, this year we will welcome back alum speaker Dr. Justin Miller, Postdoctoral Research Associate at Washington University in St. Louis.
Know that any support you provide will be used to fund not only the basics of running such a complex event, but help us improve the Stupka Symposium for years to come.
Thank you for your support of the Rob Stupka Symposium!
If you would like to know more about us, please visit our website: https://stupka.bb.iastate.edu/. If you have any questions, feel free to contact anyone under the "Project Owners" section on this page -- our email addresses are available if you click on our pictures.