The annual Minds @ Work Student Research Conference is a great opportunity for students to dig deep into topics they’re passionate about, practice their research and presentation skills with a faculty sponsor and even get a morale boost from their peers.
Wednesday’s conference was a great success, according to student organizer Hannah Kohne. “We had so many excellent presentations and a great turnout to each of them, including our keynote,” she said. “It’s amazing to see how much this event continues to grow each year.”
In all, ‘Berg students gave a total of 130 presentations and posters, representing a broad base of academic disciplines. About 16 students gave multiple presentations, either individually or with a small group.
Senior Summer Hunter-Kysor’s presentation, Los Desaparedicos: A Lost Generation, was a synthesis of four years of study, travel and research. Her parents traveled 5-1/2 hours from their Pennsylvania home to watch her give her final research conference presentation.
“I am extremely passionate about this subject. It’s close to my heart, because of my study-abroad experience in Argentina, and the research really became an accumulation of all of my international studies, political science, Spanish and history classes on campus,” Summer said. “I think every once in a while, it’s good to have the chance to show off the amazing things we’ve done and brag a little bit. We all need that morale boost and support from our peers.”
Enya Granados shared her research three times with one presentation and two posters. Although she admitted to dealing with a few nerves, her presentations went well when her enthusiasm kicked in. “I think the best benefit from presenting is getting to make new connections with those who see my research,” said Enya, a senior biology and education double major. “I love getting to know new people and getting to hear their thoughts on my research.
For some students, presenting at Minds @ Work is a class requirement. Even so, they benefit in many ways from the experience. That was the case for senior Erica Meade, who gave required presentations for her senior seminar in accounting class and also as part of her internship. Dr. Haseeb Ahmed, dean of the School of Business, asked Erica and her Berg Enactus teammates to present as a group about their project working with a local startup.
“It was great to see the level of interest that other people share for my research,” Erica said about her senior seminar presentation. “I have worked very hard to bring together a coherent paper and presentation and it was nice to see that my work paid off and that other people enjoyed my topic as well.”
Erica, among others, believes she gained valuable experience at speaking in public. She recognizes it’s an important skill to have as a professional. “I am grateful for the opportunity to continue building this skill,” she said.