2016 ACC Meeting of Minds Hosted by Syracuse University April 8-10

GREENSBORO, NC – The Atlantic Coast Conference hosts some of the most intense competitions in the realm of college sports. But the brilliant tactics and highly talented students aren’t reserved for just the playing fields. 

The ACC is also deeply focused on the hard work and intellectual accomplishments of students in its member institutions’ classrooms, labs and studios.

An annual showcase of some of its most outstanding scholars, the ACC Meeting of the Minds (M.O.M.) Conference highlights students from each of the 15 ACC schools presenting their research and creative work.

This year’s conference—the 11th annual—will be held for the first time at Syracuse University, which joined the ACC in 2013. Located in Syracuse, N.Y., the University will host the event April 8-10. 

“I am pleased to welcome our peer institutions to campus and look forward to seeing the impressive work being done by students across the ACC,” said Syracuse University Associate Provost for Academic Programs Andria Costello Staniec.

Six students from each of the 15 ACC schools—about 90 students in all—will participate in the M.O.M. Conference, which is part of the work of the ACC Academic Consortium that emphasizes strong academics with strong athletics.

Syracuse University biology student Alexandria Aruck ’16 attended last year’s ACC’s Meeting of the Minds Conference at North Carolina State University and engaged with students doing research outside of her field for the first time.

“It was an opportunity for me to learn more about the groundbreaking research being conducted in such fields as physics and education and also what was going on in my own field of developmental biology,” Aruck said. “I saw how my research fits into the bigger picture of how undergraduates are making incredible strides toward an understanding of how the world works.”

Students are making critical connections when they can participate in research, says Dave Brown, coordinator of the ACC Academic Consortium and provost emeritus of Wake Forest University.

“We’ve learned from our world-leading doctoral programs in science and engineering, that involving students in original research is a powerful, effective way to teach and learn,” Brown said. “ACC universities are extending this model to undergraduate students in all disciplines.”   

Students will present their research or creative work at the conference through either an oral presentation, a poster presentation, models or exhibition, or a performance. Students will also have the opportunity to interact with faculty and undergraduates from across the ACC and learn more about the host university. 

“The best and brightest undergraduates are competitively chosen to present their own research at the annual ACC Academic Consortium’s Meeting of the Minds,” Brown said. “For each of these honored students this is an opportunity to enrich their research from insights from others, to practice presentation skills, to network with researchers at other universities, to build their research resumes and to be recognized for their achievements.”

The M.O.M. conference, funded in part by ACC athletic events, combines the resources of all of its partner institutions to benefit all students, not just student-athletes. All expenses for student presenters are paid by the ACC Academic Consortium.

“Athletics has brought our 15 universities together,” Brown said. “It’s wonderful to see these relationships grow for the purpose of enhancing the academic opportunities for all students.”

The M.O.M. Conference also includes plenary sessions that provide reflections on the importance of undergraduate research, highlight research methodologies by distinguished faculty from the host university and reflect on paths to graduate school and research careers.

“The ACC Meeting of the Minds Conference is an opportunity for students to meet people from all over the ACC who are doing work similar to theirs or of interest to them,” Costello Staniec said. “It will be an exciting weekend that we hope will generate even more research and creativity.”

More information on this year’s conference can be found at http://accmom2016.syr.edu. More information on the ACCAC is available at http://acciac.org

About the ACC 
The Atlantic Coast Conference, now in its 63rd year of competition and 15 members strong, has long enjoyed the reputation as one of the strongest and most competitive intercollegiate conferences in the nation. ACC members Boston College, Clemson, Duke, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Louisville, Miami, North Carolina, NC State, Notre Dame, Pitt, Syracuse, Virginia, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest continue to build upon the cornerstones on which the league was founded in 1953 with a consistent balance of academics, athletics and integrity.  For more information, visit theACC.com and follow @theACC on Twitter and on facebook.com/theACC.