By: CLAIRE GUY
SOUTH BEND- Congratulations to all the chosen Undergraduate Research Conference (URC) presenters this year. Each presenter was courageous enough to share their research with other students about their incredible ideas. For the ones who did not partake in this conference because they knew nothing about it or were intimidated, fear not. Here is your chance to get an inside look.
“This is a full day for students to showcase their research, present on their research paper, series of experiments or series of fiction to other students,” Jamie Smith, assistant professor of political science and conference chairman, explained.
“Faculty members are not the only ones on campus doing exciting research or producing creative work,” Assistant Professor of English Jake Mattox said. “Each semester, new knowledge and expressions are being created by students and presented in many different forms and a conference is a fantastic way for students to test their ideas, share their visions, their evidence and their conclusions and be a part of the larger academic community.”
The URC organizers start planning in the fall for the next event and the deadline for submissions is spring break. All that is required for submission is an abstract of your research with a 250-word limit.
“As you work on projects in your class, discuss the project with your instructor,” Mattox proposed. “Could this be the kind of work shared in a wider venue? Keep in mind that conference presentations are targeted and focused, so you’ll likely need to pare down a class project to really get to the heart of your research questions and conclusions or your creative projects.”
After you’ve been chosen for the URC, Smith suggested attending the pre-conference workshops.
“It helps best prepare the student on what to expect,” Smith said.”Also, I encourage the students to practice their speeches and time it, because they are 12 minutes long. It helps to also send the PowerPoint in ahead of time.”
There are many benefits of presenting your research at the URC.
“It’s another line on your resume,” Smith said. “It helps with students going to grad school or law school. It speaks to your willingness to work hard. You are gaining skills and confidence. It’s a confidence builder.”
“Knowledge is not a static entity,” Mattox added. “It is collectively produced by a community of people committed to the exchange of ideas, the testing of assumptions and the development of new insights. Students who participate invariably report enthusiasm as they take this next step in their development as thinkers, creators and scholars.”
Students shouldn’t feel discouraged to submit their research. Smith revealed that presentations are given to smaller panels consisting of ten persons to a classroom.
All students are welcome to participate and can enter submissions through the IU South Bend website under “Undergraduate Research at South Bend.”