Student Scholars Ready to Show Their Smarts

Photo courtesy of: Betty Foy Sanders Department of Art

Photo courtesy of: Betty Foy Sanders Department of Art

By Gabriel Williams, Staff Writer

Medical students at last year’s Student Scholar Symposium

The 24th Annual Student Scholars Symposium hosted by the Student Research and Scholarship Committee (SRSC), will take place on April 18-19th 2018. This event serves as a venue where students can present their scholastic research and achievements to their fellow colleagues, professors and the community.

The SRSC committee, comprised of faculty members, professors and graduate students of the Armstrong campus of Georgia Southern University, met this week to discuss the prospects the 24th Annual Student Scholars Symposium.

Dr. Joshua Williams, Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology and chair of the SRSC committee, has participated in the symposium for several years and notes it to be one of his “favorite events on campus.”

Last year over 313 students participated in the symposium, and from all four of Armstrong’s departments: the College of Education, the College of Liberal Arts, the College of Health Professions and the College of Science and Technology.

According to Dr. Williams, The College of Science and Technology has accounted for 65% of undergraduate students each year on average, but a steady trend in participation has been observed from the other three departments as well.

With this growing number of presenters, Dr. Williams is very eager to see the outcome of this year’s event. “I expect this year’s symposium to be the largest yet, in terms of student participation and overall attendance” said Williams.

Special guests that will be in attendance will include Dr. Anastasia Lin, who serves as the Assistant Vice President for Research and Engagement and the Assistant Dean of Student Research and Scholarship at the University of North Georgia. She is scheduled to deliver her keynote address at 10:30am on Wednesday April 18, 2018 in the Ogeechee Theatre.

The Student Scholar Symposium is open to the student body, and students are encouraged to apply and participate; prospective applicants can become a part of a potentially life-changing experience by enlisting in the application process: first, students must submit a detailed abstract about their project and design a poster reflecting the key elements of their work; then, before the final day, students should rehearse their presentations and deliver it in a showcase type style. By taking the initiative to be involved in this process, presenters are effectively simulating a professional conference.

At the meeting for the symposium, faculty members were not the only ones to voice their excitement for upcoming event. Students also could not wait to hear about the ingenious minds of future leaders. Rebecca Brown, a senior biology student, said “I love attending events where individuals, especially millennials, present innovative ideas that can change the world and inspire others, including me, to do the same.” Brown also conferred her plans to present at the upcoming symposium, “just to try it out.”

At the meeting, we also got the chance to speak with Michael Simmings, a sophomore English student. He speculated that “this [the symposium] will be a great way to get my name out there for future employers down the road and possibly grant me a good paying job,” and jokingly added “Plus I get extra credit from my professor if I participate in the showcase.”

And subsequently, Williams wanted to express more of his opinions on the symposium, “I believe is it is important to show that we, as a campus community, encourage students to engage in the transformative experience gained through participating in undergraduate research and creative endeavors,” Williams stated.

By being a part of this great event on campus, students can challenge themselves by doing things outside of their comfort zone and express their skills in creativity. It can definitely help to show professors that one is competent and knowledgeable about conducting and presenting research. Also, the experience can aid the pursuit of a research grant for a career.

Now that Armstrong State University has been consolidated into Georgia Southern University, there are even more influential, student-focused events and organizations that being affiliated with will grant quality professional and collegiate experience.

More information about the Symposium including rules and guidelines for presenters can be found on the Armstrong State University webpage.