On April 13, Northern State University presented its Undergraduate Research, Scholarship and Creativity Forum.
This event, which showcased a variety of research being conducted by NSU undergraduates, was sponsored by the Office of Academic Affairs, Office of Grants and Sponsored Research, and the Beulah Williams Library.
This event started seven years ago due to the efforts of Dr. Alyssa Kiesow, Associate Professor of Biology. When the program was in its infancy, the amount of research projects were limited and generally only included projects from the College of Arts and Sciences. Now, however, the Forum exhibits research from a wide variety of fields. The research projects included diverse disciplines such as: Dental Sciences, Psychology, Art, Sociology, Agriculture, English, Biology and many more.
To give an idea of just how diverse the range of research topics were at this year’s forum, a poster that displayed the social impact of nude selfies was right next to a poster that displayed the effects of environmental sustainability and how Millennials and higher education affect it.
Across the line of exhibits, Alexis Doerr, a senior art major, presented her work on art activism. Her exhibit included a quilt that was an outline of the United States covered in color-coded yarn that represented the political leanings of individual regions. Doerr had this to say about her participation in the forum, “I participated in the forum because there is research in art. Not only traditional research, but the process of making the piece is research in its own right.”
This year, the Forum was broken-up into five distinct sessions. In the morning, students did oral presentations which were then followed by keynote speaker Dennis Skadsen, Project Coordinator of the Day County Conservation District.
Following Skadsen’s speech, students then did poster presentations, which was followed by the Faculty Symposium. The symposium was a new addition to the forum this year and included faculty presentations. After the symposium, a second round of student oral presentations filled the remainder of the time.
Helping Dr. Kiesow organize and plan this event was Sarah Jones, Reference Librarian and Archivist at William’s Library.
Dr. Kiesow explained that along with providing the experience for students to complete undergraduate research projects, the event allows departments across campus to see each other’s research.
Students from all areas of academia are welcome to and encouraged to participate in next year’s Forum, showcasing the diversity and academic prowess of our students.