2013 Research Symposium Registration Now Open

SOCORRO, N.M. November 6, 2012 – Registration is now open for the 2013 Student Research Symposium at New Mexico Tech.

The second annual symposium is set for April 5, 2013, and all students – graduates and undergraduates – are invited to submit extended abstracts and give poster or PowerPoint presentations. Any interested student can register to present research or design projects with the approval of his or her advisor.

The inaugural Student Research Symposium in April 2012 was a resounding success, with 81 student participants, presenting 24 posters and 14 oral presentations. More than 500 people attended the event, including about 400 students.

“We were impressed with the turnout for our first event. First, we were surprised with the number of registrations to present at the event; then, we were astounded by the number of people who attended the symposium,” organizer Dr. Mary Dezember said. “Since this was Tech’s first student research symposium, we didn’t know what to expect. We had a tremendous response from every department – both undergraduates and graduates. Our first event is something we can build on and I suspect we’ll have even more presenters and reviewers for our 2013 event. The SRS team has been reviewing input from our surveys and other data of the event to make improvements to what proved to be an already top-notch Tech event.”

Student Elizabeth Barteau, a double major in technical communication and civil engineering, helped organize the 2012 symposium – and is back again to help plan the 2013 event.

“We learned a few things from the first symposium and the next one will be even better,” Barteau said. “We have drafted a few more students to help organize the event and I’m looking forward to another great symposium.”

Last year’s event featured a keynote speaker – Dr. Terry Wallace of Los Alamos National Laboratory – in the evening about the importance of STEM research to those outside of their disciplines, including the general public. This year, the keynote talk will be over the lunch hour. Dezember, Barteau and the rest of the planning committee is stream-lining the registration process and other details to make the event even better.

The main purpose remains the same, though, Dezember said. The symposium aims to be a student-centered event that helps Techies improve their communication skills and foster a greater sense of community. The Oral Presentation Center and the Writing Center will host a number of seminars and workshops for presenters during the spring semester – as they did last year – to help students prepare for the event and improve their presentations.

“This symposium helps students learn how to present research, but it also gives Techies a venue to see what sort of amazing research and design projects are happening in academic areas they might not be familiar with,” Dezember said. “The task for the presenters is to present their work in a format that will be understood by a broader university audience.”

Dezember is the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs and a professor in the Communication, Liberal Arts, and Social Sciences, or CLASS Department. She said the impetus for the symposium germinated at a workshop hosted by the Higher Learning Commission in the spring of 2011. The Commission selected Tech to participate in a pilot project, in which the Commission tasked universities in good standing with the HLC to develop a plan to improve their campuses.

“As a group of faculty and staff who attended the workshop, we came up with an idea for this symposium,” Dezember said. “We think it’s a great fit for New Mexico Tech. What we’ve observed is that students form connections within their departments. We are hoping these annual symposia foster a more campus-wide sense of community.”

Students must submit an extended abstract and give either an oral presentation or a poster presentation. Registration forms are online and continues through February. Guidelines and criteria for extended abstracts, oral presentations and posters are available at the Student Research Symposium’s website. The registration deadline is noon February 11, 2013, but those interested are encouraged to register early. Poster presenters must submit their posters by noon March 25, 2013, to be printed in time for the symposium. All oral presentations must be submitted on a flash drive by noon April 4, 2013.

The Student Research Symposium team is assembling panels of external and internal reviewers for the extended abstracts and presentations. Graduate students, faculty volunteers, staff, administrators and alumni are welcome to volunteer as reviewers.

The event will be Friday, April 5, in the third-floor ballrooms of the Fidel Center and possibly other locations. Exact details about the event will be announced over the next few months.

For more information, contact Dr. Mary Dezember at dezember@nmt.edu or visit the symposium’s website at www.nmt.edu/student-research-symposium.

– NMT –

By Thomas Guengerich/New Mexico Tech