SGA welcomes undergraduates for symposium

Jake Hawkins

Managing Editor

Last weekend, Transylvania University welcomed students from surrounding institutions to a research symposium sponsored by the Student Government Association. The symposium, which brought many disciplines together, highlighted undergraduate research across some of Kentucky’s private colleges and universities.

There were 10 student presentations during the event, five from Centre College, one from Georgetown College, another from Berea College and three from Transy. After students presented, there was an hour devoted to poster presentations from various students.

Pictured left, sophomore Abby Elliston presents a poster for SGA’s Intercollegiate Research Symposium last Saturday.

The event’s coordinator, sophomore Kayarash Karimian, said the idea for the event was spawned from collaboration with Dr. Kirk Abraham, associate professor of exercise science, and Dr. Bob Rosenberg, associate professor of chemistry.

“Last year, SGA’s academic affairs committee put on the first undergraduate research symposium at Transylvania. The event consisted of about four student presentations and some posters. This fall, Drs. Abraham and Rosenberg approached us and asked if we could combine our event with the arts and research forum, which has mostly consisted of students majoring in the sciences,” said Karimian. “After attending two national conferences and a symposium at (North Carolina State University) over the summer as an undergraduate researcher, I was inspired to take the ideas for this event to new levels.”

Karimian made the symposium the main project for SGA’s academic affairs committee.

To select participants, SGA contacted Centre, Berea and Georgetown professors with requests for student submissions. The applications were judged based on the quality of the abstracts that were submitted, according to Karimian.

There are plans to host the symposium next year, and SGA has already begun thinking of ways it can be improved.

“I know that we will definitely change the overall timetable of the event,” Karimian said. “(Next year) we hope to initiate the event-planning process five months before the event. Furthermore, rather than sending applications as email attachments we hope to work with the (information technology) department to create a website for the event.”

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