• The Southwestern

Students prepare for Oklahoma Research Day

Updated: Jun 11, 2020

With Oklahoma Research Day coming up, SWOSU encourages students to participate in student research and wants students to be aware of the opportunities available to them.

Photo by Wix media

By Sydnie Balcer

For The Southwestern

SWOSU will be hosting Oklahoma Research Day this year on Friday, March 6, from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., at the SWOSU Wellness Center and Pioneer Cellular Event Center.

According to the Oklahoma Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research, a sponsor of Oklahoma Research Day, the event “seeks to encourage networking among researchers and interchange of ideas among those studying and researching in their respective academic disciplines.”

SWOSU encourages students to participate in Oklahoma Research Day, either by attending research events or by conducting their own research.

“One thing specific to research at SWOSU is that undergraduate students can also participate in research as opposed to larger universities that often don’t offer those opportunities to undergraduates,’’ Denise Landrum-Geyer, associate professor at SWOSU and co-editor of the SWOSU Journal of Undergraduate Research said.

University 'a place of learning'

“There are a couple of different avenues to undergraduate research depending on students’ majors. One way is for students to ask their advisers about how to get started. If students are interested in researching topics outside their major, they can ask instructors of other courses.”

Landrum-Geyer encourages students to participate in undergraduate research because “a university is a place of learning, and it’s a way for students to be responsible to the world by making it better.”

Additional reasons to participate in undergraduate research, according to the University of Florida, include helping students get into graduate school, helping students clarify their career interests and goals, strengthening transferable skills, and more.

Vi Kinsman, psychology and communications student at SWOSU, is involved in three different research projects: one on career decision-making and self-efficacy, one about barriers to student engagement on campus, and one on toxic masculinity.

With all of their experience in undergraduate research, they provide insight on approaching undergraduate research from the student perspective.

“I’m interested in researching questions people don’t have clear answers to,” Kinsman said. “When getting into research, I got to know my professors really well. I asked if they needed help with any projects, and I also did an independent study for research.”

Kinsman also said that they spend about a year on their research projects before they present them at conferences, but for their toxic masculinity research, it will be roughly a year and a half from when they began their research because they are planning to present at the National Communication Association Conference.

“Undergraduate research really pushes your limits and makes you apply all of the things that you learned in your classes,” Kinsman said. After receiving their undergraduate degree, Kinsman plans to enroll in a doctoral program for psychology, so they said undergraduate research has helped prepare them for their future work environment.

For more information on how to get involved in undergraduate research, students can speak to their advisers or professors.

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