SHSU Symposium Recognizes Undergraduate Research

April 23, 2010
SHSU Media Contacts: Julia May


From Geoffrey Chaucer to Bob Dylan and alternative energy to illegal immigrants, 70 Sam Houston State University undergraduate students will present their research at the Third Annual SHSU Undergraduate Research Symposium Saturday (April 24) from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. on the third floor of the Lowman Student Center.

The public is invited to attend any or all of the presentations at no charge. The event is sponsored by the Elliott T. Bowers Honors College Student Ambassadors with support from the Elliott T. Bowers Honors College and Student Life Development.

In addition to oral presentations, poster presentations will be on display.

“The primary purpose of the symposium is to provide a forum where undergraduate students at Sam Houston State can present their research to others in a professional environment, gain expertise in their field, and receive feedback from other scholars and members of the academic community,” said Maria Holmes, adviser of the honors college student ambassadors.

Along with Holmes, those co-chairing this year’s program are assistant director of the honors college Kimberly Bell and honors students Elizabeth Nesselrode and Brittany Disiere.

The program this year includes research in literature and history, mathematics and chemistry, the humanities, literature and philosophy, agriculture and the environment, business and criminal justice, and Huntsville and the environment.

“The symposium benefits our undergraduate students in so many ways,” said Holmes.

“They share their research with fellow students, but they also gain experience in presenting their research in a constructive environment, and they learn how to prepare for giving presentations at regional and national conferences.”

Holmes said symposiums are a growing trend among honors colleges throughout the nation.

“It is well understood that student research is expected in graduate school,” she said. “However, many undergraduates are also required to conduct research in their chosen fields.

“The ability to conduct substantial research and present findings is critical to being accepted at elite universities for graduate study,” she said. “It also benefits our students when they are applying for jobs.”

The success of the symposium in its 3-year history has pleased the organizers greatly.

“The first year, we had 20 students who participated,” said Holmes. “This year we have 70.

“We also know that more proposals from our undergraduate students are being accepted for presentations at regional and national conferences,” she said.

“Sam Houston State University has long been known as an excellent teaching college,” she said. “Now we are being recognized as a research university as well, not only because of the work our graduate students do, but also for the research being done by our undergraduate students.”


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