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Student researchers finalize projects

Junior psychology and criminology double major Sydney Ruggles presents her LAS Colloquium project to English professor Robert Prescott.
Photo by Hannah Snidman

The Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS) Summer Undergraduate Research and Artistry Colloquium was held Tuesday in the Westlake Hall Atrium.

The event began with poster presentations by students in biology, chemistry and biochemistry, psychology, and world languages and cultures departments. Then, three summer fellows gave PowerPoint presentations on their work.

Research produces so many unique learning opportunities that just aren’t available in the classroom, Matthew Folkenroth, a senior chemistry major and presenter, said. Over this summer, I was able to learn much more about the research process and how to deal with roadblocks as they arise.

In addition to conducting research, the colloquium allowed students to practice their presentation skills. Peers and faculty members listened and asked many questions to presenters of 13 posters.

I really enjoy talking about things that Im passionate about, said Cecelia Lentz, a senior psychology major and presenter. Talking to others who can get passionate about the same thing or ask questions about it just brings me so much joy and happiness to do this, so I look forward to it every time I get to present.

Project topics greatly varied, ranging from intramolecular interactions to narcissist relationships to refugee crises. Attendees could explore and learn about both familiar and unfamiliar subjects.

[The colloquium is] a great chance for departments to kind of get together and see what were all up to, since were all under the liberal arts and sciences college, Elizabeth Wright, a junior biochemistry and psychology double major, said. All the departments can kind of come together and celebrate all their students who have been accomplishing great research projects.

After extensive summer research, many of the participants said they want to continue pursuing their findings.

I plan to write a paper from this research [so] that I can submit for publication in a sociology or women’s and gender studies journal, said Annie Schuver, a senior organizational communications major. I am also planning to present my research at a conference. I want to pursue my doctorate in sociology and continue researching sexual violence in addition to other topics.

Younger students attending the colloquium were exposed to the experiences and discoveries made possible by summer research.

The LAS Fellowship Program was an amazing opportunity, and I encourage every LAS student who is interested in research to apply, Nicole Pearl, a senior psychology major, said. It’s not always common to be presented with the opportunity to conduct a study of your own as an undergrad student, and doing so will strongly benefit anyone in their future endeavors.

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