Scholar’s Day offers chance to showcase research

Scholar’s Day is right around corner, and this year one lucky student will leave with a special treat: a Kindle Fire.

The event will be held Monday, April 23, and students are encouraged to submit applications, which have a deadline of March 9.

It is an annual event during which undergraduates and graduate students present research projects they’ve been working on throughout the previous year.

Scholar’s Day was founded four years ago by the College of Sciences. Assistant Professor and Chair of the psychology department Dr. Trent Terrell explained the reasons behind the event.

“We wanted to give UMHB students the experience of making a professional presentation. Additionally, we wanted to create an environment where students could receive constructive criticism about their work,” he said. “Our goal with Scholar’s Day was not only to give students an opportunity to showcase their work, but also an opportunity to learn how to make effective presentations.”

UMHB Alumna Julie Kroetz participated in the event last year.

“It was a lot of work, but very satisfying. Dr. Terrell made it part of my independent study class. I learned how to prepare a poster and answer questions about my studies,” she said.

The research project was a study about memory.

“I worked hard for months getting all of my data ready to make a poster. It took me one year from start to finish. I did an eye witness memory study, and also passed out questionnaires to 96 students poling 88 questions about habits students are involved in and how they compare to the average,” she said.

Terrell is hoping that students will not only see the event as a fun opportunity to learn something new, but also as a challenge that will help them in real life situations.

He talked about what is expected from each person who participates.

“Scholar’s Day requires students to complete all the steps that would be necessary for them to present at a conference, including identifying a research topic and conducting the research for their project, completing an application form and writing an abstract and ultimately creating posters or paper presentations and giving them publicly,” Terrell said.

He believes everyone can learn from attending the event, including students who are not presenting.

“Students attending the event will have an opportunity to see posters and hear presentations on a variety of topics. We hope that students will not only learn a lot from their peers but also become inspired to conduct their own research and make presentations in subsequent years,” he said.

As for the poster session, students will present their work at the Lord Conference Room from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Paper presentations will take place at the Parker Academic Center throughout the entire   afternoon.

A speaker from the Neuroscience Institute at Scott & White will make a presentation at 11:00 in Brindley Auditorium.

Artists  will have their work on display in the Townsend Memorial Library.

Terrell is looking forward to the turnout for the event this year.

“We had nearly 50 posters and papers presented last year, and we’re hoping to have more this year,” he said.

Terrell is not the only one eager for the event to take place next month.

Graduate student of the College of Education Ronald Knight is anxious to present his research.

“I heard about the opportunity and thought it sounded interesting. So I talked with my professor (Dr. Marlene Zipperlen) and she said she would sponsor me,” he said. “I am excited about sharing my learning with other students and learning from them, too.”

Even though Knight has a few concerns regarding being completely open to the public and its critiques, he is ready to discuss the seriousness of the topic he has chosen to        present.

“My project is about bullying, specifically, ‘An Investigation of Elementary School Teachers’ Perception of Bullying and Perceived Training Needs’. I hope to get over my fear of sharing my research. I feel that it is an important subject that needs to be talked about,” he said.

There’s always next year for those who won’t be participating in the 2012 Scholar’s Day. They should come up with project ideas and consult a faculty member who can help throughout the entire research process.

Students who need help getting started can contact Terrell at tterrell@umhb.edu.

Knight has words of encouragement for students wary about participating in  a future Scholar’s Day.

He said, “I would tell them to do it. It is a great opportunity to learn from each other and share our research with fellow students and community members.”

 

Author: April Littleton

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