This week marks an exciting week on campus as we prepare to host our 8th annual Undergraduate Research Conference.
SMSU has distinguished itself over the last decade with one of the premiere undergraduate research experiences for students in all of the Midwest, if not the country. The first conference was held in 2006 and was organized as an opportunity for SMSU science students to have more experience conducting research and communicating their findings. The 1st Annual Undergraduate Research Conference, initiated in 2006 by Dr. Emily Deaver, Professor of Environmental Science, featured presentations from 48 SMSU science students. This Wednesday, 223 presenters from 17 different programs and disciplines will share their research and findings with the University and surrounding community, as they engage in a professional exchange of ideas and findings.
It will be a wonderful celebration of student learning and that exemplifies SMSU's academic excellence and distinctiveness.
This year's conference will feature both poster presentations as well as oral presentations with PowerPoints, followed with question and answer sessions. Due to the large number of students involved, oral presentations will take place in the Conference Center Ballroom and Charter Hall 201 with poster presentations on display in the Conference Center Lower Ballroom, Student Center, and the Library Plaza. One of the unique features of this conference is that it is free and open to the community to come out and experience. We have an amazing list of research projects with something that will interest everyone. A quick review of the conference schedule shows presentations on water quality, art history, a cost benefit analysis of farm machinery sales taxes and a study on stress and aging. Student artists will also have a sculpture exhibit in the Student Center Upper Level.
Also featured this year is a keynote address from SMSU Alumnus Joseph Hauger. Joseph is a 2003 graduate and a Senior Pollution Control Specialist with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency based out of the Marshall Regional Office. His keynote address will discuss how ongoing studies of environmental quality help resources managers and the public understand more clearly the factors that govern environmental systems. He will also share examples and speak to the challenges that arise when conflicting conclusions arise and drive the demand for further research.
I encourage you to come to campus and see first-hand the amazing things that our students are doing in the classroom and in their projects. The conference is free and open to the public and will run from 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. with the keynote address beginning at 8:45 a.m. in the SMSU Conference Center Ballroom. A full schedule of presentations can be found online at www.SMSU.edu
Southwest has much to be proud of when it comes to the work of our students and faculty, and this conference is a wonderful snapshot of the academic rigor at SMSU and the intellectual accomplishments of our students.