Friday, April 22, 2011

UIS research symposiums provide students with valuable experience

Student researchers at the University of Illinois Springfield got a chance to show off their research and discuss their findings during two recent symposiums.

The Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences Research Symposium and Science Research Symposium offered students the chance to speak about their topics before a public audience.

“It gives them a much deeper understanding of the research process and it also allows them to practice communicating those results back out to the broader community,” said Lynn Pardie, UIS Interim Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.

Layne Morsch, chair of the Science Research Symposium and assistant professor of Chemistry has found students learn a valuable lesson from talking about their research. He says students not only have to be prepared, but really understand what you are talking about.

“It gives our students a chance to present the research they’ve been doing in a less intimidating atmosphere than a national meeting where there might be thousands of people there from all over the United States or the world,” said Morsch.

Pardie says the research process is essential to a college education because it teaches students to be keen observers of people around them and ask good questions.

“They get to practice their professional communication skills and they have the opportunity to be in the role of a researcher answering questions,” said Pardie.

Amanda Dahlquist, a graduate student who chaired the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences Research Symposium says students are often nervous about giving a presentation, but they realize the reward.

“It’s a great opportunity to give students a chance to show off work that they’ve done and to let them take pride in their own research,” said Dahlquist.

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