Student Research Symposium puts spotlight on students


Alexander Cooper, Staff Writer

Jacksonville State University held its student research symposium on the 11th floor of the Houston Cole Library this week. The seminar lasted from Monday, February 14th to Thursday, February 16. Students presented throughout the day with and featured presentations on various research topics at regular intervals.

The seminar has been going on Jacksonville State since 1995, and it is meant to serve as a platform for students from all departments, both at an undergraduate and graduate level, to give presentations on topics which they are passionate about or have put time into.

The inclusion of different departments at the presentations means that the topics cover anything from music and literature to biology and math.

Wednesday’s presentations kicked off with a study on the life and death of the Biblical figure Joab and progressed into students talking about topics that included the Apocryphal book of Enoch and modern flute techniques.

“[The symposium] started out mostly just in the sciences,” said Dr. Jan Case , who has been the director of the symposium for over ten years, “students who had done some work outside of class would just present to the department or whoever was interested, but over the years it has expanded to include first Arts and Sciences, and with the recent reorganization of schools we’ve decided to open it to the whole university. This is the first year that it has been open to everyone.”

The presentations typically started out as unique or outstanding class projects but now include more out of class research.

Joshua Duckworth, who gave the presentation on the book of Enoch, says that his presentation was born out of his independent study on the Apocrypha as a whole.

“It helps to have a goal,” Duckworth mentioned, and he said he thought of his presentation as one good way to stay motivated.

“It’s nice once you’ve done all that work to be able to share it,” Case added.

While Case is the director of the symposium, she is also part of a committee that meets twice a year to help plan and tweak each year’s event.

“It’s really a group effort,” Case said when talking about what it takes to make the event happen. “I’m in charge, but a lot of other people are doing work to make it all come together.”

The symposium is open to the public as well JSU students and faculty.

“I think it builds community,” said Case. “This kind of gives me a chance to see the connections that are made between different fields.”

With the potential for a diverse array of topics being represented the symposium offers a very eclectic survey of some of the research being done by JSU students.

“It’s always my favorite couple of days out of the year because I have learned so much stuff!” said Case. “It’s so nice to see the work that is being done by our students.”

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