This Saturday, the Madsen Center will be filled with 55 students explaining research they performed this year at the Augustana Symposium, sponsored by the Office of Academic Affairs and the Union Board of Governors (UBG).
Professor Jenny Gubbels, who has been the head of the symposium for the past two years, encourages students to come to the event to explore the various opportunities that are available to them at Augustana.
“Especially for freshmen, it’s a great idea to go because it can open your eyes to the possibilities of research that can be done in your field,” she said.
If students find a topic they are interested in, they can ask the researcher questions and get in contact with a faculty mentor who can help them discover more about the opportunity.
“It got me interested in a number of different projects,” said junior Matt Anderson who attended the event last year. “It gave me the little boost I needed to get out there.”
Topics vary from “Effect of Difficulties with Emotion Regulation on Sleep” to “End of Life Curriculum in the Augustana Nursing Program”. Presenters have the option of doing a 15 or 30 minute oral presentation or a poster.
“They gain the experience of presenting in front of their peers, their parents, and the faculty,” Gubbels said. “They get to listen to other students and learn about research that other students are doing across campus, not just in their discipline, but across the whole spectrum of disciplines.”
Many classes offer extra credit for going to the presentations. This year, the system for documenting extra credit has changed. Instead of signing in on a clipboard, students will be given a program that gets stamped at the presentation they attend.
Another perk of presenting this year is a free t-shirt for presenting students. In previous years, students and their parents had been given a free lunch. However, the Symposium committee decided that since many parents enjoy bringing their children out to lunch, a t-shirt would be more useful gift.
Junior Sonora Ruybal was encouraged by her teacher to present the piece she spent two months arranging, the song “Sail by Awolnation” for viola, cello and flute.
“I think it’s kind of cool I get to play it for everyone. All the professors get to see what I do in the music department,” Ruybal said. “Now they can’t say music majors don’t do anything.”
Anderson will show a poster about the research he did with bacteria this summer.
“It’s a great way to get other students to see what research you’re able to do at Augustana,” Anderson said. “We have a lot of cool opportunities to do different research.”
The day begins at 10 a.m. in the Gilbert Science Center Room 100 with the keynote speaker, Dr. Catherine H. Palczewski from the University of Northern Iowa. Palczewski was chosen by the Humanities Division and specializes in Communication Studies and Women’s and Gender Studies. Her address is entitled “Suffrage Parades, Pickets and Postcards: Images of Vulnerable Bodies and Civic Obligations.”
From 12 p.m. to 1 p.m., there will be three musical presentations from students. From 1 p.m. to 5:10 p.m., there will be student presentations in the Madsen Center.
“It’s a great opportunity to soak up the Liberal Arts,” Gubbels said. “A really great day to celebrate students.”