University Celebrates Research at Campus-Wide Student Research Symposium

On Saturday, April 16, the University hosted its fifth annual Student Research Symposium, featuring students from each of the University’s five colleges. The aim of this year’s Symposium was to promote interdisciplinary research and collaboration in the hope of instilling in students the importance of exploring issues from multiple perspectives.  

The Symposium theme, Promoting Collaboration Across Disciplines, recognized the research of undergraduate and graduate students from across the campus.  The event included panel discussions and poster presentations featuring more than 150 research projects and topics conducted by close to 450 students and faculty advisors.

The Symposium highlighted the work of baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral students from programs across the University, and the research that students completed with other students and faculty was both challenging and rewarding.

  • Yasmin Begum, an undergraduate student pursuing a BS in Biology, stated that “taking 17 credits, working, and participating in a research was really a wonderful experience. It was a little crazy at times to stay on track with everything going on but it was all about hard work and dedication. We had a great team and a wonderful advisor.  Waking up at 7am on a Saturday for the Research Symposium was definitely worth it!"
  • Ken Ryerson, a master’s student in Counseling, commented that “collaborating with faculty and fellow graduate students on a book chapter was an enriching and memorable experience. Presenting our work at Montclair's Annual Student Research Symposium was a great way to connect with peers and faculty on a university-wide level."
  • Angeliki Sergonis, who is obtaining her MA in Fine Arts with a concentration in Museum Management, explained how the interdisciplinary theme presented a rewarding challenge.  “In selecting the topic for my research paper, I wanted to challenge myself and explore a discipline in which I had limited experience.  Using legal research methods, combined with art history methodologies I was already familiar with, was a challenging, but rewarding experience.  It was an honor to be a part of this Symposium and listening to other presentations and seeing the wide range of posters was both enlightening and inspiring.”
  • Naz Onel, a doctoral student in the Ph.D. in Environmental Management program shared, “I enjoy doing interdisciplinary research greatly, but the most exciting part of the experience is sharing my research with a wide eclectic audience. The Symposium was an extraordinary opportunity to network with peers, students and faculty researchers from all over the university.”
  • Kathryn Strom, a doctoral student in the Ed.D. in Teacher Education and Teacher Development program remarked that “participating in the symposium this year was a fantastic experience.  Not only was it fascinating to get a sense of the diverse research happening in the graduate student community at Montclair, but it's also a perfect forum for practicing academic presentation skills for larger venues, such as AERA.  I highly recommend it to any graduate student at Montclair!”
  • According to Jill Whittaker, a doctoral student in the Ph.D. in Counselor Education program, “it was an enriching experience to be able to participate in a forum devoted to the sharing of this research with University faculty and students at the Student Research Symposium.  I enjoyed engaging in professional dialogue with people from a variety of disciplines as we shared about our research studies and the vision and passion behind them.”

Following the morning’s presentations, students and their guests gathered for a luncheon featuring keynote speaker, Dr. Neil Baldwin, who is the Director of the Creative Research Center and a Professor in the Department of Theatre and Dance at Montclair State University.  The text of Dr. Baldwin’s keynote address may be found here.  Awards were also presented to the best interdisciplinary posters and presentations.  Award recipients included:

Best Interdisciplinary Undergraduate Poster:
The mathematical effects of reduced physical activity
Presenters: Shanakey Cupidon, Yuna Maeda, Ajmal Abed, Zeeshan Khan, Yasmin Begum, Kimberly Manderano
Faculty Advisor:  Dr. Diana Thomas

Best Interdisciplinary Graduate Poster:
Impact of eco-friendly product and packaging strategies on consumer information processing
Presenter: Naz Onel
Faculty Advisors:  Drs. Dibyendu Sarkar and Avi Mukherjee

Best Interdisciplinary Undergraduate Presentation:
The evolution of dramaturgy through technology: The Grapes of Wrath
Presenter: Kristen Hariton
Faculty Advisor:  Dr. Neil Baldwin

Best Interdisciplinary Graduate Presentation:
Brancusi's Bird in Space and defining "Art"
Presenter: Angeliki Sergonis
Faculty Advisor:  Dr. Elizabeth Valdez del Alamo

Visit the Symposium Photo Gallery on the College of Education and Human Services Facebook page.