NEW YORK – Senior Thomas Staes (Berlaar, Belgium) of the Seton Hall men’s swimming and diving team will be representing Seton Hall at the inaugural 2022 BIG EAST Undergraduate Research Symposium on Saturday, March 12.

Staes was selected as one of seven Seton Hall students and will be presenting research at Madison Square Garden that he has conducted through the chemistry program at Seton Hall. Seton Hall softball’s Kiana Tate (Las Vegas, Nev.) also served as an author on the project that discusses the synthesis and characterization of biodiesel using microalgae as sustainable triglycerides source.

“During my time at Seton Hall University, both the Athletics Department and the Chemistry Department have given me amazing opportunities. Representing both those departments at the research symposium seems like the ideal opportunity to give back and promote the school,” said Sates. “Moreover, it’s amazing to be given the chance to talk about a project I am passionate about and to promote a scientific idea I strongly believe in.”

Each of these research teams will present their research work results in the form of a research poster along with a 200-word abstract. Winners of the research posters will be announced at halftime during the Men’s Basketball BIG EAST Tournament Championship game.

“We are excited to host the first BIG EAST Conference Undergraduate Research Poster Symposium,” said BIG EAST Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer Vince Nicastro. “This event is another example of impactful collaborations by our member schools on initiatives that transcend athletic competition. We are looking forward to hosting some of the brightest and most engaged BIG EAST students and faculty mentors at Madison Square Garden as they share their innovative and cutting-edge research. This event is certain to be an unforgettable experience for the participants.”

“Thomas has been a great representative of our program both in the pool and in the classroom over his four years here,” said Seton Hall Swimming and Diving Head Coach Derek Sapp. “He’s a hard worker and we know that he’ll continue to represent Seton Hall at the highest level at the BIG EAST Undergraduate Research Symposium.”

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