Learning through Engagement

Posters, oral presentations focus of Student Research Day

Purdue Calumet’s recent spring ritual, “Student Research Day” found more than 250 students introducing projects to audiences comprised of faculty, staff, community members and judges. Subject matter ran the gamut from the school of nursing to engineering, biology, and much in between.

Event history

The daylong competition, which was introduced on campus many years ago, has evolved from a small event with half a dozen entries to one that now lists hundreds. Visitors came from off campus as well as on campus to see what students have been up to during this school year, as they perused the posters set up in Alumni Hall and sat in on the presentations in nearby classrooms in the SUL building.

Volunteer judges serve as evaluators

Two areas were represented – oral presentations and posters.

Thirty-eight judges, all members of the Purdue Calumet faculty who volunteered their time, observed this year’s competition.

“The students deserve recognition, they have worked very hard on their projects,” said BHS professor David Nalbone, who served as one of the judges in the oral presentation contest. “It’s impressive that a great number of students are giving presentations and creating posters on a very, very professional level. I know that some of them have entered in professional competitions as well.”

Expanding the usual checklist

Barbara Mania-Farnell (left)
Barbara Mania-Farnell (left)

Biology Professor Barbara Mania-Farnell has acted as a judge at the event for many years, both with oral presentations and posters.

Looking beyond the regular checkpoints, she believes the question and answer period after the presentation is an important indicator of the students’ dedication to their project.

“I like to ask questions, seeking information to expand on what I have just heard and seen,” she said. “This shows the depth and knowledge of research on the student’s part.”

Benefits to audience

IT Professor Michael Tu, who served as a judge at the first oral presentation, “A Statistical Analysis of the Fecundity of Mealworms” by biology student Kemi Daramola, agreed with Nalbone and Mania-Farnell, and added a comment of his own.

“If the student is excited about their research, it shows, and may make the audience excited about the topic as well,” he said. “This can serve as motivation for them  to want to find out more.”