Rob Stupka was an undergraduate student majoring in Biochemistry at Iowa State University. His passion for science and undergraduate research led the effort to establish the BBMB undergraduate research symposium. His unparalleled enthusiasm propelled the planning process forward. Rob served as the chair and together with fellow students Tony Cyr, Claire Kruesel, Adam Krupikca and Jordan Witmer, they began planning the 1st symposium scheduled for spring 2006. Rob saw in the symposium an opportunity for undergraduates to start to truly experience the importance of communication in science and wanted this event to be the first of many, highlighting the efforts of undergraduate researchers.

Rob’s life was tragically cut short on November 30, 2005 after a pedestrian vehicle accident in front of the Molecular Biology Building. In tribute to Rob’s drive and passion to create this event, the BBMB undergraduate symposium appropriately bears his name. The Stupka Undergraduate Symposium is an annual event that has become a source of pride for our department. It continues to be organized by our BBMB undergraduate students and they are inspired by Rob’s story. We believe that through your attendance and participation, we continue to honor Rob’s memory. Thank you for being here and enjoy the wonderful research presented by our promising young scientists.