by Da Hee Yang (’23) | March 1, 2021
Saint Francis’ Research Club has come up with a new project for the second semester of the 2020-2021 school year. It has designed its first-ever Research Symposium, where students create their own literature reviews throughout the semester and present them to the whole club in May. The club’s Symposium was created to provide students with a more accessible research opportunity. Isha Karim (’22), a board member of the Research Club, stated, “I used to think that writing research papers was relegated only to people pursuing doctorate degrees, and it never seemed like something that I could engage with. Therefore, other board members and I wanted to show how easy it is to engage with scientific research so long as there are tools and mentorship.”
The Symposium is open to all students, regardless of prior research experiences, and participants will work on their literature reviews either in groups or individually. The event will be similar to college-level symposiums and conferences with a committee of undergraduate and industry professionals present to review and judge the papers. In order to help prepare for this Symposium, the Research Club plans to host various literary workshops to go over the basics of research and analysis, including tutorials on how to write introductions or add commentary to a research paper. They will also host presentations from experts in different fields and professional researchers to offer their experience and guidance to participants.
Until the Symposium, board members will also play a crucial role, acting as mentors for groups of participants who are interested in similar fields of study. Equipped with previous research backgrounds, all board members will be available to answer questions about the writing process and provide advice to polish the works. Board member Melissa Paz-Flores (’22) stated, “Within Zoom meetings, the club will give participants time to work in their breakout rooms, and the board members will stop by to walk students through the writing process.”
With numerous plans ahead, the board members have shared their enthusiasm about the upcoming Symposium and what they are looking forward to. Paz-Flores delightfully stated, “I am excited to see what our club members create. Hearing from them during our club meetings always amazes me because each member has an inquisitive and curious mind.” Tanvi Rao (’22) added that she wishes “to use [her] experiences with real-world research to help students discover what they are passionate about and become confident in their writing and research, creating a paper that they can present with pride.” With all the hope that has emerged, Karim summed up the Research Club’s ultimate goal for participants through this experience: “We definitely want students to leave feeling empowered that they can pursue their own research. It is a daunting task to undertake, but we are confident that students will have the tools to pursue research in a stronger, surer capacity in this experience.”
The Research Club is still in the process of recruiting participants. If students are looking for an opportunity to get their start in research and better understand their fields of interest by researching and writing unique literature reviews, the Research Club’s new Research Symposium is the answer!