Among the 38 student presenters at the Undergraduate Research Symposium were 19 from the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Pictured here (l-r) Madison Edge, Matteo Miceli, Ian Waters, Naomi Zakimi, Michael Kurliak, Cory Henderson, Ariel Cheung, Melanie Hiepler, and Nicolas Tellez-Espana. Photo courtesy of the Teaching and Learning Centre.

Undegraduate, Research

SFU Undergraduate Research Symposium presents original research by students from across FASS

April 24, 2018

by Christine Lyons

On April 6, 2018, the SFU community gathered to hear undergraduates from every faculty present their original research in a multitude of disciplines. Hosted by CBC journalist, Susana da Silva and moderated by SFU faculty members, honours and undergraduate students shared their research to a diverse audience in a academic setting, showcasing the high quality of undergraduate research taking place at the university.

Of the 38 presenters overall, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences were represented by 19 students from the departments of Criminology, Economics, English, International Studies, Political Science, Psychology, and World Literature.

FASS Associate Dean, Catherine Murray says the event gave FASS students a chance to show their research prowess and an opportunity to get a taste of the peer review process. "Any FASS Student learns how knowledge is contested, grows, changes, or forgotten over time--but symposiums like this are where students can prove their ideas matter.  Knowledge in action can change the world and our place in it. Sharing ideas, learning from others, joining the collegium of peer review-- this is what the public university can advance.  Research is hard work. FASS students show they can rise to the challenge."

Nicolas Tellez-Espana, a student completing his program with the School for International Studies said students gain a “sense of accomplishment and legitimacy to undergraduate research” through events like these. Tellez-Espana presented his paper, “A Species In Between: Contesting Identities in Contemporary South America,” and was particularly appreciative of the exposure and feedback his research received. He noted that because not all departments require an honours theses defense, the opportunity to be recognized and gain feedback by peers and other faculty members is rare, yet important. “I think providing students with the opportunity to present their research is essential, especially because it allows them to gain valuable skills and constructive criticism to enhance themselves and their academic practices.”

Psychology undergrad Jonathan Mendel echoed these sentiments and said it was “exciting” to share his research because there are “so few opportunities for undergraduate students to present their research, let alone to a multidisciplinary audience.” Mendel, who presented his paper “The Implementation of a Poverty Simulation to Improve Attitudes,” said the symposium gave honours students “a platform to show off their hard work” to an audience beyond their supervisor and a small selection of peers, as well as the “opportunity to answer questions and receive feedback from a multidisciplinary audience.”

Here’s hoping this was the first of many undergraduate research symposiums to come. FASS congratulates all our bright students who presented and took the opportunity and time to share their innovative ideas and arguments!

The full list of presenters and paper titles from FASS:

  • Nadira Aleaf (School of Criminology), “The Politics of Being a Muslim Woman in BC.”
  • Lili Chu (School of Criminology), “Are Mental Health Calls being Accurately Captured? An Exploratory Study on Current Mental Health Calls-for-Service Measures.”
  • Matteo Miceli (School of Criminology), “Phallometry in Canadian Courts.”
  • Benjamin Smyth (School of Criminology), “Perspectives, Attitudes, and Beliefs Towards Issues Confronting Indigenous People in Canada.”
  • Ian Waters (School of Criminology), “Looking Beyond Sex Work Stereotypes.”
  • Naomi Zakimi (School of Criminology) “Right-wing Extremist Narratives in Social Media: A Canadian Perspective.”
  • Sean Lee (Department of Economics), “Explaining Consumer Bankruptcy in the United States: A Dynamic Panel Analysis.”
  • Shi Sun (Department of Economics), “Equilibrium Condition in a Virtual Goods Secondary Market.”
  • Mark Westwood (Department of English), “The Dunkirk Model: Systemic Sequences in the Film by Christopher Nolan.”
  • Nicolas Tellez-Espana (School for International Studies), “A Species In Between: Contesting Identities in Contemporary South America.”
  • Corinne Henderson (Department of Political Science), “The Media’s Depiction of Minority Women Candidates.”
  • Michael Kurliak (Department of Political Science), “Do Democracies Work?”
  • Ariel Cheung (Department of Psychology), “Predictors of University Students’ Knowledge of Autism Spectrum Disorder,”
  • Madison Edge (Department of Psychology), “An Examination of Student Perception of Sexual Violence and Corresponding Policy, Part II.”
  • Jonathan Mendel (Department of Psychology), “The Implementation of a Poverty Simulation to Improve Attitudes.”
  • Susanna Piasecki (Department of Psychology), “Brainwave Activation During Emotion and Behaviour Control in Children and Adolescents with ADHD.”
  • Maitland Waddell (Department of Psychology), “Uncertainty as a Catalyst for Destructive Forms of Collective Action.”
  • Melanie Hiepler (World Literature Program), “Variations on ‘Virgo Angla’: Power, Patronage, and Self-Presentation in the Neo-Latin Republic of Letters.”
  • Iulia Sincraian (World Literature Program), “Poetry as a Site of Resistance to Fascist Ideology.”