Conferences highlight student research

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April 10, 2012

Support the scholarly work Georgia College undergraduate and graduate students produce throughout the course of their college experience during this year’s student research conferences.

The annual conferences showcase students’ creative research from scientific experimentation and service learning to literary criticism, case-study design and artistic expression.

This year Georgia College will host its largest combined student research conference and showcase on campus.

“Undergraduate research is one of those engaged learning practices that is central, and even critical, to Georgia College’s mission,” said Dr. Steven Elliott-Gower, director of the Georgia College Honors Program. “We are getting more faculty and students involved each year. The quality of the students’ work, thanks to some excellent mentoring, just keeps getting better.”

Georgia College will host three research conferences this week:

• Thursday, April 12: The second annual GC Showcase of Graduate Research at 4:45 to 7:15 p.m. at the Georgia College Macon Center for Graduate & Professional Learning;

• Friday, April 13: The 15th annual GC Student Research Conference at 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the Health Sciences Building on the campus of Georgia College; and

• Friday, April 13: COPLAC Southeast Regional Undergraduate Research Conference at 9 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. in the Health Sciences Building on the campus of Georgia College.

    “Students participating in these events have the opportunity to develop close working relationships with faculty members,” said Dr. Stephanie McClure, associate professor of sociology. “Students improve on research skills that are widely applicable in post-college environments and develop confidence to communicate the results of their work to diverse, interdisciplinary audiences.”

    Students can present oral, poster, performance/reading, civic engagement, capstone portfolio, community-based or service-learning presentations.

    This year Georgia College totaled 188 GC Student Research Conference presentations and 29 GC Showcase of Graduate Research presentations. Sixty faculty members have served as student sponsors.

    “For 2012, including conference and showcase submissions, we have 217 presentations involving 378 students,” said John Bowen, Georgia College’s coordinator of leadership programs. “We saw a 8.5 percent increase in our presentation numbers from last year.”

    Elliott-Gower organized the 2012 COPLAC Southeast Regional Undergraduate Conference as an addition to the GC conferences.

    Ten Georgia College students will represent the university during the COPLAC conference, which welcomes approximately 50 students from five regional universities including Georgia College: University of North Carolina at Asheville in Asheville, N.C.; University of Virginia’s College at Wise in Wise, Va.; University of Montevallo in Montevallo, Ala.; and New College Florida in Sarasota, Fla.

    Students, faculty, friends and family members are welcome to attend the presentations and conference events.

    “Georgia College faculty members are doing an outstanding job mentoring students in research experiences across disciplines,” Bowen said. “Students also are stepping up and taking advantage of these opportunities.”

    ABOUT GEORGIA COLLEGE: Georgia College, the state’s designated Public Liberal Arts University, combines the educational experience expected at esteemed private liberal arts colleges with the affordability of public higher education. Its four colleges – arts and sciences, business, education and health sciences – provide 6,600 undergraduate and graduate students with an exceptional learning environment that extends beyond the classroom, with hands-on involvement with faculty research, community service, study abroad and myriad internships.

    Founded in 1889, Georgia College boasts one of the most beautiful campuses in the nation with Corinthian columns fronting red brick buildings and wide open green spaces. Georgia College also offers graduate education at the historic Jefferson building in downtown Macon, at Robins Air Force Base and online.

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    For more information, contact University Communications at (478) 445-4477.

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