April 13, 2018

Photo gallery: Undergraduates share their research at the Undergraduate Research Symposium

Among the 38 student presenters at the Undergraduate Research Symposium were 19 from the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Although it proved humanly impossible to gather all 19 in one place at one time, a number of them did pose for a group shot. From left: Madison Edge (Psychology); Matteo Miceli, Ian Waters and Naomi Zakimi (Criminology); Michael Kurliak and Cory Henderson (Political Science); Ariel Cheung (Psychology); Melanie Hiepler (World Literature); and Nicolas Tellez-Espana (International Studies).

Undergraduate students do impressive research, but they rarely get the chance to share it with a wider audience. The multi-disciplinary Undergraduate Research Symposium on April 6, 2018, was organized as a way for honours students to “describe their research to a diverse audience in an academic setting.” Close to 40 students from six Faculties delivered five-minute presentations and then participated in question-and-answer sessions moderated by SFU faculty members Paul Budra (English), Aoife Mac Namara (Communication, Art and Technology), Geoff Mann (Geography) and Rochelle Tucker (Health Sciences). More than 150 visitors—students, faculty and staff, friends and family members—attended the event at the Halpern Centre.

All four faculty moderators emphasized the value of the event as a learning experience for the participants. “I think it’s important for students to experience what it’s like to present an academic paper and to think on their feet,” said Paul Budra. And they were enthusiastic about the quality of the presentations they heard. Geoff Mann observed, “If every student that SFU graduates can give a five-minute talk like this at the end of their education, then we are doing a good job.” 

The symposium was notable for its collaborative nature; it was sponsored by the offices of the VP Research and the VP Academic, and was co-led by the Teaching and Learning Centre and the Library with support from Research Operations and Student Engagement and Retention.

Faculty moderators: Rochelle Tucker, senior lecturer, Faculty of Health Sciences …

… Aiofe Mac Namara, dean, Faculty of Communication, Art and Technology …

… Geoff Mann, professor, Department of Geography …

… and Paul Budra, professor and chair, Department of English.

The Faculty of Health Sciences was well represented at the symposium. From left: Marco Zenone, Shayda Swann, Rochelle Tucker (senior lecturer), Richelle Green, Shania Au, Sheryl Thompson, Franklin Amabeoku and unidentified.

Each session of five presentations was followed by a question-and-answer period in which audience members engaged with the student presenters. From left: Shayda Swann, Richelle Green and Sheryl Thompson (Health Sciences); Zewen Wu (Engineering Science); and Anupinder Hura (Biological Sciences).

CBC reporter Susana da Silva served as host for the event and spoke about the importance of research in her own work.

The symposium provided an opportunity for audience members from across and beyond SFU to hear about research in multiple disciplines.

Presenter Anupinder Hura (Biological Sciences).

Presenter Richelle Green (Health Sciences).

Presenter Sujani Gomes (Biological Sciences).

Presenter Michael Kurliak (Political Science).

Many presenters, including Franklin Amabeoku (front row, Health Sciences) doubled as attentive audience members.

Presenter Arman Athwal (Engineering Science).

Presenter Michael Kurliak (Political Science).

Presenter Susanna Piasecki (Psychology).

Presenter Sheryl Thompson (Health Sciences).

Presenter Melanie Hiepler (World Literature).

Presenter Alaa Al-Shaer (Physics).

Brad Johnson, director of the Teaching and Learning Centre, welcomed participants on behalf of the TLC, which co-led the event.

Karen Munro, associate dean of libraries, learning and research services, played a central role in organizing the symposium.

Gary George, officer for community relations in the Office for Aboriginal Affairs (left), and William Lindsay, special advisor on Aboriginal affairs in the Office of the VP Academic, started the day with drumming and a welcome song.