Students will show how they have expanded their horizons during UAH’s Virtual Research Week

Research Horizons Day

Research Horizons Day and Research Week will both return for the seventh year to highlight student research at The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH).

Research Week is a campus-wide event to inform students about opportunities to get involved beyond the classroom, and to recognize and promote the research and creative work of students at the university. This year, due to COVID-19 safety protocols, all events will be held virtually via Zoom and Canvas.

"Research Horizons Day and Research Week are our way to celebrate our proud history of being a research university and to create opportunities where everyone can network, share and have fun," says David Cook, director of Undergraduate Research for UAH's Office of Academic Affairs.

This year's Research Week also showcases the benefits of co-curricular involvement through a series of Zoom presentations throughout the week. These activities include research, education abroad, summer programs and internships, graduate school and scholarship advising, and civic engagement.

Pursuing interests outside the classroom helps students to explore their passions, learn more about themselves and their classmates, and get leadership experience. Likewise, students who participate in co-curricular activities can gain practical skills to complement their classroom experiences, interact with professionals in the field, learn about world cultures and participate in projects and competitions to test their knowledge.

"My advice to ambitious students on campus who are interested in research is to get involved with your education outside the classroom," says Cook. "In addition to being a fun way to meet new people and learn new things, it's great for the experience and for building the basic skills that faculty, research mentors, graduate programs and ultimately employers are looking for."

The Zoom events kick off on Friday, March 12, at 3 p.m. with a talk by Dr. Bryan Mesmer entitled, "Transdisciplinary Research – Unique Discoveries through Inclusion." Transdisciplinary research applies approaches and ideas from multiple disciplines to address complex problems with high societal impacts.

This talk will discuss the pursuit of creative and novel research that can only occur at the intersection of multiple disciplines and cover specific research sponsored by NASA, Navy, Army and industry, and performed by UAH students. These projects involve unique collaborations between engineering, theatre, psychology, philosophy, and policy and law. Student researchers will be spotlighted, highlighting how they got involved in transdisciplinary research and how they will use what they have learned in the future.

Then, from Monday, March 15, through Friday, March 19, co-curricular groups will present via Zoom on opportunities in undergraduate research, summer research and internship programs, education abroad, civic engagement, and scholarship and fellowship advising.

The link for all Zoom events can be found on the UAH Undergraduate Research Annual Events and Outreach page.

Friday will wrap up with the ever-popular, "So You Think You Can Research." This event provides an informal opportunity for networking and sharing of student creative projects and research with one slide and a three-minute presentation. The event is hosted by Dr. Candice Lanius, UAH communication arts professor. It is sponsored by I 2 C, Maynard, Cooper & Gayle and Warren Averett, and cash certificates will be awarded for the best presentations.

This year, the Research Horizons Day Virtual Poster Session is hosted on Canvas and will be available to the campus and general public from Monday-Friday, March 15-19. However, accessing Canvas requires an invitation, so register here to receive an invitation to the Canvas platform. Sign up no later than 5 p.m. CST, Thursday, March 11, so that you can be invited to the Canvas course.

On the Canvas page, you will find graduate and undergraduate students representing every college displaying video/audio presentations via individually dedicated discussion boards organized under the college of their major. Through the discussion boards you can comment on the presenter's work and ask questions, to which they can respond via the message boards.

"It's something a little different and definitely an experiment, but we hope that it's a good way to preserve a record of the students' work and presentation skills, and involve our students and the community. I want to thank everyone for their willingness to try something new, and especially my colleagues for their support in setting up this platform," says Cook.

"Dissemination of research and creative projects is an important part of inquiry-based learning, so Research Week events like the virtual poster session and ‘So You Think You Can Research' give our students a chance to share what they have been working on," Cook says. "We also want students, faculty, researchers, staff and the local community to come together to look at the students' work in the hopes of building relationships and collaborations.

"Despite the challenges we continue to face, we're very excited to have found a way to continue this opportunity to celebrate student research and creativity on our campus. We hope that all will join us to celebrate research and to learn more about how to get involved."

Here are the scheduled activities for 2020's Research Horizons Day and Research Week:

Monday, 3/15, 3 p.m. – "An Overview of Summer Undergraduate Research Programs" by Dave Cook, director of Undergraduate Research.

Tuesday, 3/16, 3 p.m. – "Undergraduate Research: What is it? Why do it? and How to Start?" by the Office of Pre-Professional Advising

Wednesday, 3/17, noon – "Study Abroad - Yes, It's Still Possible!" by Ginny Garzon, director of Study Abroad

Wednesday, 3/17, 3 p.m. – "An Overview of Prestigious Scholarships and Fellowship Programs" by Jennifer Staton, Fellowship and Graduate School advisor

Thursday, 3/18, 3 p.m. – "Making an Impact Through Civic Engagement - UAH Engineers For Global Action Chapter," by Engineers for Global Action Officers

Friday, 3/19, 3 p.m. – "So You Think You Can Research," an informal opportunity to share student creative projects and research with one slide and a three-minute presentation. Cash prizes for best presentations! Sponsored by I 2 C, Maynard, Cooper & Gayle and Warren Averett. Hosted by Dr. Candice Lanius, UAH Communication Arts Department



David Cook