April 1, 2021

Jessica Pope
Communications and Media Relations Coordinator

VSU Presents Virtual Undergraduate Research Symposium April 5-9

VALDOSTA — Valdosta State University presents its 27th annual Undergraduate Research Symposium April 5-9.

Dr. Lavonna Lovern, co-coordinator of undergraduate research, said this year’s Undergraduate Research Symposium features an estimated 200 students showcasing the first-class research and scholarship being conducted at VSU. The full schedule, including links to all virtual events, may be found at https://www.valdosta.edu/urc/.

“The 2021 Undergraduate Research Symposium is dedicated to our College of Nursing and Health Sciences students and faculty, along with all of our VSU frontline workers,” she shared. “This year has been one of challenges and concern. These individuals have taken on additional burdens and have inspired the rest of us to keep working, advance compassion, and focus on the positive that we could do. We thank each and every one of them for their work, their risk, and their compassion.”

The Undergraduate Research Symposium opens Monday afternoon with VSU First-Year Seminar Experience students reflecting on the beginning of their journey into advanced research. Their research projects represent the first steps into transformative education and the excitement of exploration through research.

Throughout the week, the Undergraduate Research Symposium continues with oral presentations — both live webinars and PowerPoint with voiceover — poster presentations, three-minute video presentations, social justice panel discussions and guest speakers, a debate centered around the topic of COVID-19 vaccines, and more.

“Research has been a challenge this year with COVID-19 restrictions,” Lovern said. “However, both students and their faculty mentors have overcome these challenges to produce outstanding scholarship.  Our submissions and scholars represent diversity in topics and in disciplines. This year’s event represents exceptional dedication, productivity, and professionalism during difficult and often emotional circumstances.”

All undergraduate students at VSU are encouraged to submit proposals to the Undergraduate Research Symposium each year. Selection decisions are made at the academic department or college level.

Lovern said the Undergraduate Research Symposium features original research from every college at VSU — Harley Langdale Jr. College of Business Administration, College of Nursing and Health Sciences, College of Science and Mathematics, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, College of the Arts, and James L. and Dorothy H. Dewar College of Education and Human Services. This research reflects the university’s unwavering commitment to provide students experiential learning opportunities that enhance their critical thinking skills and give them a greater understanding of their chosen field of study.  

VSU believes that learning is best done actively and in collaboration with others. That is why the university places much emphasis on student-faculty research and giving each student the individualized attention needed to step outside their comfort zone, make an impact, create new knowledge, and promote an innovation-oriented culture.

Admission to all Undergraduate Research Symposium events is free of charge. Faculty, staff, students, alumni, retirees, and friends of the university are invited to attend.

VSU is committed to increasing the opportunities available for undergraduate students to participate in research through specialized courses, engagement in internships and service learning, and other opportunities. This has many benefits, according to the university’s Council on Undergraduate Research, as students who engage in research activities are able to build relationships resulting in enhanced learning with their faculty mentors, are more likely to be retained, are more likely to pursue advanced degrees, have an increased knowledge base of research methodology, and are more likely to promote an innovation-oriented culture.

Contact Dr. Lavonna Lovern at (229) 333-7376 or llovern@valdosta.edu for more information.

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