Manchester University
Oak Leaves

April 22, 2016

STUDENT RESEARCH Rachel Ulrich, a 2015 Manchester grad, delivers the keynote speech at last year’s research symposium.

Academics Present Findings at MU Research Symposium

Kody Smith

Manchester University will be conducting a Student Research Symposium on Friday, April 29. The event will cover a wide variety of topics, and will showcase the hard work and research done by students at Manchester. Junior Ciara Kerckhove will be in attendance for the event, conducting a keynote address regarding her summer research in laser physics. Kerckhove, rather than being struck by nerves before her keynote, is excited and has practiced thoroughly in preparation.

“I have practiced giving my presentation to a variety of students and professors,” Kerckhove said. “This was done to ensure that a broad audience, not just science majors, could understand the presentation.”
Christer Watson, a professor in the physics department at Manchester University, hopes that this symposium expands far past the podium on that Friday evening. “The principal goal of the symposium is to encourage academic conversations on campus outside of the classroom,” Watson said. “Every subject taught within Manchester classrooms can be extended to original research outside the classroom. Students are constantly doing this extension with guidance from various faculty, and the symposium showcases a great opportunity for students to share these works.”

Additionally, students, faculty and staff of Manchester University will not be the only individuals in attendance for the event, as the symposium is open to the public. “In the process, students get to practice describing their work to a wide audience,” Watson said. “It is also a showcase event for the wider public to see the original work done by Manchester students.”

The works that will be discussed range in variety to give the audience a taste of each subject and have ongoing conversations regarding the material far past the conclusion of the discussions. The works being presented throughout the evening include “Success in the Eye of the Beholder: Differing Perceptions of College Student Success,” “The Influence of Eastern European Music on Janacek's First String Quartet,” “Colonization and Modern Economic Levels” and “Modeling Stellar Bodies Through Numerical Simulation.”

As she prepares to present to a wide array of audience members, Kerckhove hopes that future presenters keep a calm attitude before presenting their information. “I would recommend that a student practices his or her presentation frequently and for anyone who will listen,” Kerckhove said. “Additionally, it is important to be excited about what is being presented.”

The symposium kicks off as brochures become available at 3:30 p.m. in the Academic Center, with research presentations following at 4 p.m. Poster presentations by undergraduates, graduates and professionals will following in the upper level of the Jo Young Switzer Center from 4:45-5:45 p.m. Refreshments will be served as well. The keynote speaker will then take over the podium at 5:45, with awards being presented at approximately 6:15 p.m.