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MCLA Undergraduate Research Conference to be held Virtually April 22

NORTH ADAMS, MASS. —MCLA will hold its 19th annual Undergraduate Research Conference virtually this year on Thursday, April 22. Students will have the opportunity to showcase the hard work they’ve done on various academic projects throughout the year, including scholarly and creative work, across all academic disciplines.


Students will present 15-minute talks, posters, and artistic work; the URC will also include special sessions and events focused on specific themes and performances. Members of the media are welcome to cover this MCLA community event, sit in on virtual talks, and interview students and faculty members.


Learn more about the URC at


Keynote speaker: Ama Bemma Adwetewa-Badu ’15 

An MCLA alumni is traditionally invited to speak at the URC; this year’s keynote speaker is Ama Bemma Adwetewa-Badu ’15, a third year Ph.D. candidate in the Department of English at Cornell University, where she studies poetry and poetics, world literature, and comparative Black studies.


After graduating from the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts in 2015, she went on to earn a MA in English from Clark University. Her master’s thesis, “Iterations of Identity: Black Experimental Poetics and the Politics of Form,” examined experimental and innovative poetry in the African diaspora. During her time as a masters student, she taught English as a second language at Worcester State University and was an English tutor for the Writing Center at Quinsigamond Community College. Learn more about her at


Recognizing scholarship recipients 


Feigenbaum Scholarships 

This year is the first year MCLA awarded Feigenbaum Scholarships. The Feigenbaum Scholars are MCLA undergraduate students who are entrepreneurs, innovators, and leaders researching ways to build capacity and explore emerging trends. These scholarships are available to students pursuing any area of study at MCLA. The scholarship will provide support to promising students enabling them to fund a life-changing experience aligned with a detailed research proposal. This scholarship may also be used to defray the cost of tuition and fees related to independent studies/research. The 2020-2021 Feigenbaum Scholars are:


  • Sienna Paulsen ’21 ($6,000 for her project “How is Nesting Behavior of Veeries Influenced by Exotic Shrubs?”)
  • Hannah Wait ’21 ($3,000 for her project “Spring Migration Strategies of Dark-Eyed Juncos”)
  • Lindsey Rosa ’21 ($1,000 for her project “The Fate of Non-Profit Organizations and Creating a Foundation for Future Entrepreneurs”)


Pamela P. Dennis ’82 Scholarship  

The Pamela P. Dennis ’82 Scholarship is funded by the Pamela P. Dennis ’82 Achievement and Triumph Fund, which underwrites the cost of the URC, a $2,000 scholarship for a student each year, and an annual student internship at the Austen Riggs Center in Stockbridge, Mass. Announced by Diane Sammer, Class of 1981 in 2014, the fund honors Pamela P. Dennis, a psychology major who graduated from the college in 1982 and who passed away in 2008.


The 2021 Pamela P. Dennis ’82 Scholarship recipient is Bobita Atkins ’24. Atkins created “The Green Zone Project,” a new program to promote and encourage environmentally friendly behaviors on campus, specifically in campus housing. Atkins created a checklist for her peers as well as a Green Zone dorm certification process. “We push to make MCLA a greener school by making the biggest population of the school aware that they have a role in protecting the environment,” she explained in her URC abstract.


About MCLA:
At MCLA, we’re here for all — and focused on each — of our students. Classes are taught by educators who care deeply about teaching, and about seeing their students thrive on every level of their lives. In nearly every way possible, the experience at MCLA is designed to elevate our students as individuals, as leaders, communicators, fully empowered to make their impressions on the world. In addition to our 125-year commitment to public education we have fortified our commitment to equitable academic excellence. For eight of the last 10 years, MCLA has been named a Top Ten College by U.S. News and World Report. MCLA also appears on the organization’s list of top National Public Liberal Arts Colleges, as well as on the top 50 schools in U.S. News’ Social Mobility Ranking, which measures how well schools graduate students who receive Federal Pell Grants.


For more information, go to