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CU student wins Kentucky Academy of Science poster contest

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Linda Waggener

Campbellsville University

Campbellsville University senior chemistry major Cameron Campbell of Columbia has won the Undergraduate Research Poster Competition in Chemistry at the 2012 Kentucky Academy of Science annual meeting.

Campbell's presentation on electrochemistry, which was titled "Silver Filament Formation at Nanogaps Formed from Electrodeposited Silver Nanowires," shows how to make metal wires atom-by-atom in diameter, important in both medical and computer industries.

The competition included students from Eastern Kentucky University, Western Kentucky University, Northern Kentucky University, Berea College, Centre College and many other schools.

CU president Dr. Michael V. Carter said, "We are very proud of Cameron's academic accomplishments and look forward to his future academic and professional achievements. Cameron is another example of CU students achieving in their respective fields of study."

Carter also congratulated Dr. Chris Mullins, Campbell's academic advisor, and Kay Sutton, both assistant professors of chemistry at CU.

Carter said, "The Campbellsville University experience is enhanced by the dedication of instructors who stay abreast of, and encourage students to participate in, opportunities like this one that help propel them from campus to career opportunities."

Campbell said, "At first I didn't see the real-world importance of the project. But looking back at how I completed 58 trials, it teaches you patience and an appreciation for sticking with hard work that eventually does pay off."

"More students from Campbellsville University can be successful in the same say Cameron was in this instance," Mullins said, "but they have to be willing to try."

Campbell's goal after graduation from CU in December 2013 is to enroll in the Vanderbilt University Medical Scientist Training Program where one can get a MD/Ph.D. simultaneously in an integrated curriculum with a core education in medicine coupled with intensive scientific inquiry training.

With Mullins' encouragement, Campbell and another CU student, Conor Young of Enid, Okla., participated in the University of Louisville's Research Experience for Undergraduates, which is funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation. He hopes to take advantage of other opportunities in the summer of 2013 to continue to gain experiential learning opportunities. He has also made application to go to Washington, D.C. early next year to show results from his research project to Congress in the annual "Posters on the Hill" event sponsored by the Council for Undergraduate Research.

Campbell is a 2009 graduate of Adair County High School in Columbia. He began his education at Sparksville Grade Center in the community where he grew up and said, "Chemistry runs in my family - I have an aunt, a great uncle and a cousin, all in education and/or business in the field of chemistry and physics."