Symposium allows students to shine

By Jamie Santoro
April 14, 2010

Classes are canceled on April 22, but do you know why? Students have been working for months on presentations in preparation of this year’s Arts, Research and Scholarship Symposium. It will give Cabrini students, faculty and staff the chance to present their research and findings.

Works presented will range from paintings and creative writings to research on  scientific studies. Students are chosen by faculty who then become mentors.  The symposium is a culmination of their hard work.

“It’s a way to celebrate and showcase a student’s hard work to the campus community,” Dr. David Dunbar, biology professor and a faculty adviser of this year’s symposium, said. “Also, hopefully other students that attend that have not presented at the Symposium will be motivated to do so the following year. It really looks great on a resume and is something to talk about at job or graduate school interviews.”

“The range of topics is very wide,” Dr. John Cordes, communication professor and the organizer of this year’s event, said. “Everything from literature critiques in Spanish to sociological and psychological studies to detailed life and physical science experiments.  The opportunity to present research is an excellent way to close the research process for a particular question while at the same time opening up new avenues for related research.”

The idea for the Symposium came up about five years ago when Dunbar and Dr. Charlie McCormick, former dean for academic affairs, attended a science conference sponsored by The Council of Undergraduate Research. The theme of the conference focused on the merits of undergraduate research. “At the conference it was suggested for us to host a Research Symposium to showcase student creative works and to motivate other students to take on research projects,” Dunbar said.

For students it’s a chance to feel the pressures and rewards of academics after college. “The students have the option of choosing either to prepare a poster or to give an oral presentation,” Cordes said. “This year there are more than 75 posters scheduled and more than 40 oral presentations.”

The work does not go unnoticed by peers. “I’m excited to see the biology presentations,” Emily Fiore, sophomore education major, said. “I don’t really understand them but it’s cool to see students doing such complex work.”

As for the students set to present, they’re ready for the end. “It was a lot of work and we put a lot of hours in to it,”  Sam Webb, sophomore communication major, said. Webb will be presenting on rain forests. “It was a great experience but I’m excited to put it out there.”

Jamie Santoro

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