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Students explore poster presentations at the Undergraduate Research Symposium. Photo by Katie White.

Undergraduate Research Symposium celebrates student research

By: Katie White

At the Undergraduate Research Symposium on Monday, April 17 and Tuesday, April 18, Aurora University students had time to share and discuss the projects they have been working on over the past year. While summer break may be the only thing that has been on a Spartans’ mind, students were focused and professional while giving oral presentations or displaying posters at the symposium held in the University Banquet Hall.

Dr. Pamela Wicks, a professor of communication at Aurora University, explained the Undergraduate Research Symposium is a great opportunity for students as they can, “present their hard work to have others see it,” Dr. Wicks said.

“I always think that it’s important to get feedback from other people, and do it for a live audience…it also helps increase their presentation skills in front of an audience they’re unfamiliar with,” Dr. Wicks says.

Senior Communication major Monique Talip and junior health science major Eddie Gaytan teamed up on a  presentation on climate change and possible solutions.

Eddie Gaytan (left) and Monique Talip (right) with their poster at the Undergraduate Research Symposium. Photo by Katie White.

“Climate change: it’s happening now, and we need to take action,” Talip said. While the project doesn’t relate directly to either students’ majors, “it includes a lot of research and knowledge of facts to share with the community,” Gaytan says.

Another pair of students, senior Tori Unser and junior Tristan Spivey, both English secondary education majors, researched the Paramount Theater in downtown Aurora to understand how it can be brought into the classroom to maximize student learning.

“In the 1930’s it was a very important building and it has a great impact on the community,” Spivey said. Their project included the historical significance of the Paramount as well as how a teacher can incorporate it into a drama class. “Students learn better in a sociocultural learning,” Unser said.

Senior Steve Haddon and junior Eric Martinez presented on terrorism and drug trafficking for their Global Justice course at AU. Haddon is a business administration major with a minor in marketing. Martinez is also a business administration major with a minor in operation management. Their poster titled “Peace through Education”  showed that, “the best way to get it to stop is through educating young kids,” Martinez said.

“People who are in drug trafficking don’t want to be there. They do it to provide for their family,” Haddon said.

Students presenting at the symposium have been working on these projects over the past semester, some even since fall. Anyone who attended or presented at the symposium are encouraged to post to social media with the tag, #UGRS.