On July 30, the Talley Student Union ballroom was a showcase for the talents of 305 undergraduate students. Students from as far as China and Brazil presented the findings of their research to the public during the 13th Annual NC State Summer Undergraduate Research Symposium.
Any undergraduate student who is a student at NC State, or who worked with an NC State mentor, was eligible to design a poster. Topics from a variety of disciplines were represented and ranged from “Evaluating the Strength of Evidence in DUI Cases Presented in North Carolina”, to “Quantification of Sodium Benzoate in Pickled Vegetables by Solid-Phase Extraction and UV/Vis Spectroscopy”.
Students devote significant time and effort to reach the presentation phase of their research, but there is much to be gained from participating. Student researchers—individuals or teams—share in the guidance and experience of NC State faculty mentors. By engaging in this active communication, they begin to look at their work in different ways, to develop new ideas for future projects, and to improve their personal communication skills. Additionally, the Symposium is structured to allow students time to interact with peers working in similar disciplines, while also learning about unrelated fields.
Participants will also benefit in the long-term; the results of a 2013 survey of employers indicate that 93% of employers feel that a demonstrated ability to think critically, communicate clearly, and solve complex problems is of greater importance than a candidate’s undergraduate major. The students participating in the Undergraduate Research Symposium will gain tangible experience in addressing real-world problems, increasing their overall value to prospective employers.
NC State will again highlight the work of undergraduate researchers in late fall, when we host the State of North Carolina Undergraduate Research and Creativity Symposium on Saturday, November 22, 2014.
View the Summer Research Symposium Storify – a social media compilation of the day.