Binghamton’s sixth-annual Research Days will take place April 19-21. The event, designed to celebrate research, scholarship and creative activities across campus, will again feature student poster sessions, special lectures and tours as well as workshops.
“We want undergraduates to know what it means to be involved in research and scholarship,” says Janice McDonald, director of the Undergraduate Research Center at Binghamton and chair of the Research Days planning committee. “The people standing in front of them in class are pushing the boundaries of their fields.”
Two poster sessions, scheduled for 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. April 21 at the UU-Mandela Room, will include research presentations by more than 200 undergraduate and graduate students. New this year will be a creative performance showcase from noon-3 p.m. in the UU-Undergrounds the same day. “The poster sessions aren’t just important for the students who present,” McDonald notes. “It’s also a chance for students and faculty to see what our students are capable of. More than 500 people came to the poster sessions last year. It’s one giant learning experience.”
Another new event is an Art of Science competition, sponsored by the Office of Research Advancement and the Center of Excellence. Faculty, students and staff have submitted images that represent their research in some way. Select entries will be on display during a reception from 4-6 p.m. April 19 at the Center of Excellence Atrium.
In addition, McDonald and her staff are organizing a luncheon roundtable where undergraduates will be able to talk in small groups with graduate students and faculty members about grad school and careers in research. “We know that our students who are considering going into grad school in traditional research-based fields may not understand the benefit of starting in research now,” McDonald says. “We hope undergraduates will get some insight from our faculty members about what they can do to prepare and to figure out what interests them the most.”
Binghamton Research Days are sponsored by Academic Affairs, the Division of Research, Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation, McNair Scholars Program and the Undergraduate Research Center. Research Days has become a campus tradition, but McDonald notes that the organizers continue to adjust the programming. She also looks at the outcome of the activities each year.
“We’re demonstrating that students are doing meaningful research,” she says. “They’re part of the process, part of the excitement of research. It gives students a feeling of accomplishment and of pride to present their work. We know that it has encouraged other students to get involved in research, and our faculty are impressed, too.”
For more details about Binghamton Research Days and a full schedule of events, visit http://go.binghamton.edu/researchdays.