David O’Donnell to Present Undergraduate Research Poster on Capitol Hill

David O'Donnell is one of 74 undergraduate researchers across the country presenting a poster on Capitol Hill.

GENESEO, N.Y. -- A SUNY Geneseo junior is among 74 college students from across the nation selected to make poster presentations on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. April 13, part of the Council on Undergraduate Research's annual Posters on the Hill event. David O'Donnell, a history major from Cortland, N.Y., will discuss his research into the development of FIGHT (Freedom, Integration, God, Honor, Today), founded in Rochester, N.Y., in the 1960s, and how FIGHT demonstrated key themes of the Black Power movement in organizing.

The student presenters will have the opportunity to discuss their research with U.S. senators and representatives as well as congressional staff members. The 74 presentations were selected from nearly 700 applications.

"I'm very honored and excited to be able to represent Geneseo at the Poster on the Hills event and I'm grateful for all the help and opportunities Geneseo has been able to give me to make this project possible at all," said O'Donnell. "I hope that by going to Washington we are able to promote further funding for undergraduate research, especially for projects in the arts and humanities."

A copy of O'Donnell's poster also will be displayed during the college's annual GREAT Day celebration April 12, which highlights undergraduate research and creative activities from across campus.

O'Donnell received a Geneseo Foundation Undergraduate Research Summer Research Fellowship last year to study the Black Power Movement in Rochester. The project involved extensive secondary source reading on the movement and archival research in several collections at the University of Rochester and the Rochester Museum and Science Center. The fellowship allowed him to work full time on research during the summer. He also has served as a research assistant for Emilye Crosby, professor of history at Geneseo, who has served as his mentor.

"Dave takes advantage of these kind of opportunities and has a strong intrinsic interest in learning," said Crosby. "By focusing on Rochester, Dave's research can help us better understand the nature of northern racism, black organizing and the ways Black Power reflected and emerged out of black experiences and ideologies before it gained national attention through Stokely Carmichael's visible rhetoric. He is already adding to our knowledge of this important local history. I am confident that by the time he completes his senior thesis, he will weigh in on the larger historiographical debates about the northern movement and Black Power. "

Besides studying history, O'Donnell is preparing to earn a teaching certificate for adolescent social studies education as a student in the Ella Cline Shear School of Education at Geneseo. He will begin student teaching next fall and will graduate in the spring of 2012.

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