XU Undergraduates Travel for Academics
Xavier researchers visit Madison Square Garden in New York to present their projects
By Justin Malone, Editor
This year, the Big East Basketball Tournament not only honored the talents of student-athletes, but also the hard work and dedication of undergraduate scholars.
Along with 10 other Big East universities, Xavier sent five research presentations to the inaugural Big East Undergraduate Research Symposium at New York’s Madison Square Garden on March 12.
During the conference, Xavier students Anna Snyder, Payton Wood, Samantha Hawkins, Andrew LeBlanc, Jeremy Johnson and Molly Mariani all presented their individual research to a judging panel of professors and administrators from Big East universities. .
The students represented the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Professional Sciences and the Williams College of Business. Their presentations encompassed several subjects with a wide variety of studies, including psychology, environmental science, chemistry, economics and art.
Each research presentation was nominated by a faculty advisor and then selected by a small group from each college. At the symposium, each university presented five presentations, arranged on tables for the judges to view.
Each student prepared a visual poster of their research and prepared a 10-minute speech to present to three separate judges, each from different interdisciplinary backgrounds.
Dr. David Gerberry, director of the undergraduate research program at the College of Arts and Sciences, noted how students were tested during the symposium.
“It’s a real challenge to communicate your research in a specific discipline and in a way that makes sense to a wide audience,” Gerberry said.
Wood presented his research on the impact of sewer and pipe overflow in Cincinnati’s Mill Creek.
“I had someone approach me and just say, ‘Oh, can you tell me a bit about your poster? “Wood said. “It was a bit nerve-wracking, but it was really fun to be there.”
The students then answered the judges’ questions about their work and were graded based on the quality and presentation of their research.
After the two and a half hour judging period, the judges selected three finalists and three honorable mentions for recognition of their research. Snyder won an honorable mention for his work analyzing the effects of external perception on self-perception and LeBlanc also won an honorable mention for his work on the synthesis of the chemical kalkitoxin.
Going forward, the symposium will become an annual event.
“I felt that the students really appreciated the opportunity to talk about their research and felt they received a lot of positive feedback from the judges they spoke to for their presentations. “, said Gerberry. “I am proud of Xavier’s students for their overall performance. »
“It was a really fun experience,” Snyder remarked. “We were able to meet other students who are all doing undergraduate research, and it’s interesting to see how Xavier measures up to what others are doing.”
“It’s super cool that we’re doing really innovative and new research,” she added.
“I thought the whole experience was great. I would definitely recommend it to other people and loved being a part of it,” Wood recalls.
“I thought it was really cool to see all these passionate people coming together. I’m really happy to have been there and I still hope that Xavier can continue to do so in the years to come, ”she noted.