Symposium to Showcase Undergraduate Research at WSUOGDEN, Utah – Weber State University will host its second annual Undergraduate Research Symposium and Celebration on March 28 from noon to 5 p.m. in the Shepherd Union Building.
The symposium offers a forum for students to present their research findings and share experiences with the campus and community. The event will include presentations by more than 185 students, with approximately 56 poster sessions, 44 oral presentations and 3 performing arts exhibits. This year's symposium will also feature 90 visual arts displays, which are new to the event for 2005. Student participation in the symposium increased significantly from last year, suggesting more students are pursuing research projects.
"Learning to disseminate information in a setting like this is an important part of the research process," said associate zoology professor John Cavitt, director of the Office of Undergraduate Research at WSU.
Cavitt said the symposium offers students an opportunity to celebrate their accomplishments and, in many cases, it serves as a dress rehearsal for upcoming presentations at national conferences.
"They get a chance to practice with a supportive audience," Cavitt said. "Faculty and peers may offer pointers or suggestions on ways to enhance or improve the presentation for future events." Cavitt said the event helps make other students aware of these kinds of research opportunities.
The oral and poster presentations represent a broad cross section of departments and disciplines at WSU.
Undergraduate research fosters collaborations between students and faculty mentors. It allows students to explore areas of interest in greater detail or depth.
"Experiences like these on a student's resume impress both potential employers and graduate school admissions officers," Cavitt said. "It demonstrates a commitment to learning that extends beyond memorizing facts and theories from a textbook. These students have taken concepts they've learned and applied them to real life issues, helping them think critically and develop problem-solving skills."