We are at the two-day mark for the symposium, which kicks off on Thursday with the 6-9pm dinner in Dinwoodie Lounge. Despite the weather, it still feels like September to me, but we’re already midway through November! Things have gone pretty well overall, though there are the standard ups and downs that take place with any big event. The downs have been infrequent, however, and we’ve managed to put out the little fires as they form.
I’ve met with each of the symposium speakers, and they are all outstanding. We’re going to see some very interesting talks and hear some entertaining stories. One of the major themes for the event is sharing stories. A lot of the research in university can be esoteric, appealing to a small audience. By having students and professors talk about their personal experiences related to research, their development from undergraduate to faculty member and the key lessons that they have learned along the way, I think that we open ourselves to a general audience.
The URS “Big Question/What do you want to know?” contest postering also took place yesterday, with a URS Team member, Florence, postering much of campus on her own. Talk about being motivated and driven! Overall, the URS Team has been doing stuff like this over the last month, and I feel that collectively, these efforts will make for a very solid event.
Student engagement is something that the SU talks about all the time, and I think that we’re going to see it in action. Most of these students will be doing something SU-related for the first time. But what is truly important – and in my opinion, one of the most important components of the symposium – is the “Big Question/What do you want to know?” contest. I hope to see at least 500 entries, with the majority of those students being connected afterward to the Undergraduate Research Initiative.
If you have any questions about the symposium, send them off to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. My response rate for symposium-related things is about 30 seconds, so expect something back quickly!