BLOOMFIELD, NJ — Destiny King’s class of 2022, Bloomfield College McNair Scholar and Honors Program Fellow, was recently recognized as the recipient of the Council on Undergraduate Research Award at the organization’s 2022 National Conference on undergraduate research for his presentation in the natural and physical sciences, titled “Twinkle, Twinkle, Variable Star, How I Wonder How Far You Are.” To see the presentation, visit https://tinyurl.com/44uxaje8.
King, who just graduated in biology from Bloomfield in May, was mentored by physics professor Demetris Nicolaides of the college’s Division of Natural Sciences and Mathematics as together they sought to “make a contribution scholarly or artistic to knowledge”, the goal of undergraduate student research as defined by the board. The award, which lasted two years, followed co-publication of the research in a peer-reviewed publication, the Journal of the American Association of Variable Star Observers. To read the newspaper, go https://tinyurl.com/y8p4ny6h.
“Destiny’s research focused on variable stars – whose brightness varies periodically as they expand and contract – with the goal of refining the method of measuring cosmic distances. Precise galactic distances and speeds of recession ultimately help scientists more accurately determine the expansion of the universe. To my knowledge, this is the first time a Bloomfield College student has won an NCUR award, certainly in the science field,” Nicolaides said. “Also, being published in a peer-reviewed publication as an undergraduate student is quite an achievement. We are very proud of Destiny and know that it will continue to innovate and impress us as it will continue his graduate studies in the future.
The 2022 conference, held virtually, attracted more than 3,200 students, faculty and administrators from around the world, from all types of higher education institutions and all disciplines. Over 2,500 students presented their research through posters, oral presentations, visual arts and performances.
“I heard about the lecture from Professor Nicolaides, and he encouraged me to submit the application abstract and later the video for the competition, the first steps in the process,” said King, a County of Gloucester. “It took several months before I learned that I was a finalist. At the conference awards ceremony, I finally learned that I was one of two winners in the physics and astronomy division. I am delighted that my hard work has been recognized as having value, and I am very grateful to everyone who has helped me along the way.
In communicating with King about his research submission, the CUR Executive Board wrote, “Your submission has been rigorously reviewed by experts in your discipline, so you should be very proud of this achievement. ! Your abstract demonstrates a unique contribution to your field of study, and we are pleased to offer you the opportunity to present your work to your peers, faculty, and staff across the country.