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[Video] Poster Session Highlights Importance of Undergraduate Research

Event gave students the chance to show off their research accomplishments

Students, faculty and staff came together for the 2023 installment of the Undergraduate Research Poster Session on September 21, the culmination of 3 months of intensive research by a little more than 50 students.

Supported by the Undergraduate Summer Research Award (USRA), its mission is to provide undergraduate students with a summer learning experience that involves intellectual inquiry and faculty mentoring, and to foster an engaged environment that promotes a culture of student involvement in research and scholarship.

According to Vice President for Research and Innovation Meredith Bond, the purpose of the poster session is to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate to their peers, faculty mentors and other students their summer research accomplishments.

“During the poster presentation, students learn how to summarize and “sell” the results of their work,” she said. “Students develop and hone presentation skills and learn how to make their research project understandable to the ‘lay public’; the poster session also attracts the attention of other students who, in turn, learn of the excellent research and scholarship opportunities at CSU and hopefully help retain our students at CSU.”

What’s more, the USRA program provides a unique experience for CSU students and helps students to make a decision to pursue a Master or PhD as a step towards a career, and to receive practical experience and improve their resume.  In fact, over the past 10 years, just about 25% of USRA participants chose to on to pursue a graduate research degree.

“For many of these undergraduate students, the USRA program is their very first research experience, and for many it opened their eyes to the thrill of research,” said Bond. “The best way to understand research is to do it [and] by that analogy, students will not just be admiring a new car from the outside but getting in the driver’s seat and giving it a test drive – and our students were excited about the experience.”

Bond is also hoping this session can serve as a springboard for bigger and better things in the immediate future; she said she would like to be able to trumpet the students’ USRA experience to high school guidance counselors and to students seeking to attend CSU.

“We believe this USRA experience it is a pretty well-kept secret [and] and we are eager to swell numbers of students who participate each year, but that will require more “aggressive advertising,” she said.

Bond added:

“We are hoping to change that narrative in the immediate future.”