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Next Stop: Capitol Hill

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February 29, 2012
Social work student [b]Diana DeMont[/b] ranks among the select number of undergraduates chosen nationwide to present at this year's Council for Undergraduate Research (CUR) Posters on the Hill event in Washington, D.C. [br][br]"I am pleasantly surprised and very honored," said Ms. DeMont of West Springfield, who will head to the Capitol April 23-24 for the event. [br] [br]Each year, top research projects from colleges and universities across the country are chosen by CUR to be exhibited in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill. Widely considered the most prestigious and competitive showcase of undergraduate research in the country, selection for Posters on the Hill is highly competitive. Of roughly 850 applicants this year, only 75 students made the cut. [br][br]Ms. DeMont's project, "Overcoming Educational Disadvantage: Shelter Initiatives for Homeless Children," addresses the challenges facing children living in Massachusetts homeless shelters, focusing on services the shelters provide the children for academic success, such as tutoring, mentoring and after-school programs. [br][br]Ms. DeMont said there is a need to improve some of those services. She hopes her project will underscore that need, as well as the importance of homeless children receiving a quality education in the United States. "These kids are going to be the next generation of Americans," she said. "If they don't get the education they need now, at an early age, then it will be worse for them and for the country in the future." [br][br]She also hopes her project will emphasize the need for more funding and volunteers in shelters across the nation. [br][br]Her research was funded by an ATP grant and conducted under the mentorship of [b]Dr. Lucinda King-Frode[/b], professor and coordinator of the undergraduate social work program. [br][br]She has previously presented her study at the undergraduate research symposium on campus last summer and at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research, held at Ithaca College in New York last March. Additionally, her study was recently published in BSU's Undergraduate Review. (Rob Matheson, '07, University Advancement)
Diana DeMont

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