Classes canceled for research symposium

by Angela Niesz

Students will be able to experience a day of canceled classes on April 14 thanks to the second Undergraduate Research Symposium. Students are encouraged to attend, and they will have no excuses now that classes will not be going on.

Rachel Bandy, assistant professor of sociology and criminal justice, said last year’s research symposium was a good experience for all.

“It was such a success last year,” Bandy said. “And we only had it for about half the afternoon last year. We had so many submissions and such great work and such a good turnout that the college has been convinced to cancel classes that day.”

Since classes will be canceled, the Undergraduate Research Symposium will be held all over campus.

The Symposium is a way for students to share their work.

Maeve Callan, assistant professor of religion, had more information.

“It’s an opportunity for students to showcase their work and to encourage students to do more firsthand research so that they actually become scholars rather than passive recipients of knowledge,” Callan said.

Bandy added to that.

“It’s a competition so we are asking students to submit an abstract that basically will give them about 250 words to describe what it is they are working on,” Bandy said. “And we are looking at original research, maybe something they are doing with a professor or with a scholarship.”

Some examples of what may be submitted include, but are not limited to, original research papers, works of art, music pieces and posters.

Senior Mary Huff and her group members participated in the poster session of the Undergraduate Research Symposium through the psychology department, which was sponsored by Simpson’s Urban Studies Institute (SUSI).

“We made a poster and then presented it over about an hour as people were able to walk around and look at all (the) projects,” Huff said. “We were available to answer questions people had about our project or give more details where necessary.”

Any student may apply to be a part of it online, but they must have a faculty sponsor.

“(Students) are required to have a faculty sponsor so you have to have a faculty who is either working with you or who really approves or supports what you’re doing,” Bandy said.

To take part in the Undergraduate Research Symposium certain deadlines must be met.

“The abstracts are due March 1, (and) faculty sponsors have to confirm the applications by March 8,” Bandy said. “We will let students know if their work has been accepted into the competition on March 21.”

Huff hopes that more students will get involved this year.

“I think that Simpson having an undergraduate research competition will spur other students across many departments to become more involved in student research,” Huff said.”Generally people think of research as something that happens only in the natural sciences, but opportunities exist in the social sciences and possibly even humanities as well.”

Callan also thinks the Undergraduate Research Symposium is a great opportunity for students.

“It is a fantastic opportunity,” Callan said. “When you get messy with what you do you get so much more excited about it, you learn so much more, and you see connections that you didn’t see before.”