Students Encouraged to Submit Research for Second Annual Interdisciplinary Symposium

The theme of this year’s UA-IS is “Nurturing the Seeds of Innovation” and the submission deadline is Feb. 21.


(Image via The EXL Center/Facebook)

Students who present during the symposium have the chance to improve interpersonal communication and gain knowledge from peers outside their field.

By Megan Parker, Editor-in-Chief

Both undergraduate and graduate students from all majors are invited to submit their research for the second-annual University of Akron Interdisciplinary Symposium (UA-IS) through Feb. 21.

According to the
UA-IS website, the symposium gives undergraduate and graduate students the opportunity to submit their “scholarly and creative works as poster presentations.”

This year’s UA-IS theme, “Nurturing the Seeds of Innovation,” was created by Dr. Carolyn Behrman, co-director of the Experiential Learning (EXL) Center, to tie in with campus initiatives from President Gary Miller.

(Image via The University of Akron)
The four important factors of the UA-IS are scholarship, creativity, community and collaboration.

Within this theme, Symposium Chair Matt Williamson, a sociology doctoral candidate, hopes to see research and scholarship highlighting innovation and also sustainability.

“We want presenters to begin to think about how their research and field at large may contribute to new innovative ideas and research, but also how their research impacts society and can be sustainable as well,” Williamson said.

last year’s symposium, a total of 72 research projects were submitted and presented, with cash prizes awarded to the best graduate and undergraduate presentations.

Associate Symposium Chair Scott Swiatek, a medical sociology doctoral candidate, said the planning committee is working toward showing the work of all students, no matter their major, based on the success of last year’s UA-IS.

“We are working hard to expand the conference to make sure we can include students from every college in this year’s event,” Swiatek said. “Presenting research to different audiences is important for helping students build their careers and for sharing their work with others.”

For students planning on submitting their research for consideration, there are a few things Williamson and Swiatek feel are important to understand.

First, students only need to submit an abstract of their research and complete a brief submission form with the name of their research, all authors and their college.

“When submitting their research, students should be prepared to answer all the questions on the submission form,” Williamson said. “It is also important that students are the ones submitting the research and not faculty members, as this is a student focused research symposium.”

(Image via The EXL Center/Facebook)
Research and scholarship are a critical part of any higher education institution.

Additionally, all students who register to present during the symposium will be provided with a free lunch during the awards ceremony.

Dr. Robert Peralta, associate professor of sociology and winner of the “Outstanding Faculty Mentor” award last year, believes it is important for students to present their research for possible collaboration in the future.

“It is important to celebrate the creation of knowledge and to teach and learn from one another – across disciplines,” Dr. Peralta said. “UA-IS is a wonderful opportunity to learn from one another.”