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Pictured, in the back row, are Julia Hill, Bethany Esterlen and Killian Tracey and in the second row are Rachel Crews and Nikki Walker. In front, is Quinn Kruel.
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WIU Forensic Chemistry Students Attend Research Conference

December 4, 2017

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MACOMB, IL – Six Western Illinois University students attended the ninth annual Conference for Undergraduate Women in the Physical Sciences at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Nov. 9-11.

The conference included the opportunity for students to present their research during a poster session, as well as attend several student and faculty talks about a variety of physical sciences topics, including one by a NASA researcher. The research by the students, under the direction of WIU Assistant Professor of Chemistry Brian Bellott, was evaluated by faculty from the University of Nebraska.

WIU students attending the research conference include forensic chemistry undergraduate students Bethany Esterlen, a senior from Macomb; Killian Tracey, a senior from Geneva, IL; Nicole Walker, a senior from Lake Zurich, IL; Quinn Kruel, a junior from Horicon, WI; Julia Hill, a sophomore from Columbia, MO; and Rachel Crews, a chemistry graduate student from Dekalb, IL.

Walker said a highlight of the conference for most students was a talk on the physics behind why peacocks have their exotic iridescent coloring and playing laser tag against students from other universities.

The research trip was supported by the WIU Department of Chemistry and the University of Nebraska.

For more information about the conference, visit

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