WSU Hosts Inaugural Undergraduate Research SymposiumMarch 23, 2004 OGDEN, Utah – More than a hundred students will take part in Weber State University's inaugural Undergraduate Research Symposium from noon to 5 p.m., March 29 in the Shepherd Union Building.
The symposium will provide a forum for students to present their research findings and share experiences with the campus and community. The event will include more than 90 presentations, with approximately 50 poster sessions and upwards of 40 oral presentations.
"Learning to disseminate information in a setting like this is an important part of the research process," said associate zoology professor John Cavitt. Cavitt and Bob Mondi, director of WSU's Honors Program, co-chair a task force on 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 is also an attempt 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. The event will culminate with an awards ceremony, recognizing the outstanding presentations. Projects will be evaluated on a combination of presentation style, processes utilized, and the value or significance of the material or research.
Undergraduate research fosters collaborations between students and faculty mentors. It allows students to explore areas of interest in greater detail or more in 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."
Event planners said they hope the symposium will become an annual event on campus.