Annual symposium showcases student research

Photo By Claire Murray | Photo Editor. Senior biochemistry major Avani Dalal hangs a poster in preparation for Thursday’s Research and Scholarship Symposium.

Photo By Claire Murray | Photo Editor.  Senior biochemistry major Avani Dalal hangs a poster in preparation for Thursday’s Research and Scholarship Symposium.

By Kayla Casavant | For the Duquesne Duke

After months of hard work and preparation, more than 200 Duquesne students from a variety of academic disciplines will present their scholarly projects at the Duquesne Undergraduate Research and Scholarship Symposium Thursday, April 9, in the Power Center ballroom.

According to the symposium’s webpage, the symposium is open to all areas of study and encourages undergraduates to conduct formal research. Participants are judged on their work, and awarded prizes accordingly. Some students have been selected to give an oral presentation on their work, while others have submitted displays and posters.

Christina McElwee, 19, is a freshman education major at Duquesne. She will have a poster displayed at the symposium. “I took a topic from my philosophy class I found interesting and expanded on it,” McElwee said. “I didn’t foresee philosophy being my topic, but I’ve enjoyed the project.”

McElwee’s poster will focus on the work of Simone de Beauvoir, a 20th century French feminist and political philosopher. The project specifically examines on one of Beauvior’s biggest questions: whether or not it is possible to judge a person on one moment of their life.

McElwee said she worked with a faculty advisor, like all participants, to help understand her topic and find a definite direction for her research.
There are symposium projects from almost every discipline on campus, according to McElwee.

“I’m excited to see all the different projects and topics people will be presenting on” McElwee said.

Mary McConell works within the Office of Research at Duquesne, which is sponsoring the event with the Office of the Provost and Academic Affairs. She and co-worker Christine Pollock have organized much of the symposium.

McConnell said the symposium started in 2009, with only about 35 projects. This year, 220 students are participating, making this the largest symposium to date.

McConell said her favorite part of organizing the symposium is seeing the “variety of the research” presented and getting “to watch the students interact and show off their hard work.”

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