Written by JOE RAMOS
Our University is extremely large and as such there is constantly something going on wherever you go. I can’t even remember the last time Gregory Plaza was empty. A specific type of event that UT students like to put on is weeks. IntegrityUT Week, Faculty Appreciation Week, etc., and this upcoming week: Research Week.
Research Week is The University of Texas at Austin’s annual celebration of undergraduate research and creative activity. Research Week provides opportunities for undergraduates to explore UT Austin’s vast and diverse community of research and creative work, and to find ways of getting involved.This event is co-hosted by the Senate of College Councils and the Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR). Dr. Rebecca Wilcox, program coordinator of OUR, says “This week is filled to the brim with events, ranging from symposiums and lectures to workshops and musical composition showcases. My two favorite parts of Research Week are the festive atmosphere surrounding the events and the accessibility to any undergraduate regardless of prior research experience.” Dr. Wilcox is adamant about conveying the event is both a celebration of research, but also a means of connecting students to finding their own research interest; in fact, that’s part of the mission statement of OUR.
Two particular events this year are creating quite a buzz: the Longhorn Bazaar and Power Up Research. The Longhorn Research Bazaar is going to include many things but Geetika Jerath, Co-Chair of Senate’s Undergraduate Research Committee, explains the highlights: “The Longhorn Research Bazar is going to be huge this year. We have hundreds, and hundreds of shirts to give away, boxes upon boxes of pizza for any student who checks out the bazaar and tons of other free swag. There will be so much going on it may be a bit overwhelming. The bazaar itself is highlighted with a poster presentation, though this one is not major specific. Groups from all across campus will be there.” Geetika estimates that there will easily be over 100 posters being presented at the bazaar, and students who take the time to hear about what research their fellow colleagues are engaging in will be rewarded with a lot of cool items.
The second largest event is Power Up Research, and as the name suggests, President Powers himself is involved. Power Up Research is an event in which President Powers and a board of five award-winning researchers from UT Austin express the benefits of undergraduate research as well as answer any questions regarding it. These individuals are among the best experts in their field, and as such have invaluable information to give. Among this distinguished faculty are Dr. Brent Iverson, Dr. Paul Woodruff, Dr. Lori-Holleran-Steiker, Dr. Keryn Pasch, and Dr. Courtney Byrd. The event is being held in the Gregory Games Room and is expected to reach capacity.
We, as students in the natural sciences, typically are the ones who proportionally engage in research the most, but it’s easy to forget the hundreds of other fields that are also conducting research. We attend a Tier 1 research University and understandably the breadth of research that goes on here is immeasurable. Research Week is the premier opportunity to see a large sample of the research that’s changing the world, and an excellent chance to broaden your horizons.
Hoping to see you there
More information can be found here: http://www.utexas.edu/ugs/researchweek/about