Students display research at symposium

Rebecca Dietrich

Erica Burke, sophomore dance major, performs a traditional Hawaiian Hula dance for this year's Symposium for Student Research, Scholarship, and Creative Achievement.

Kelsey Reese, Rocket Contributor
April 10, 2014

Students from various majors at Slippery Rock participated in the 2014 Research Symposium on Thursday, April 10. The annual symposium is an opportunity for students from several departments to present research projects they have created at SRU. For the event, students can present their work in poster form, give a presentation, exhibit their work, or give a performance. Faculty members from each of the departments participating are also in attendance to support their students.

Phillip Tramdack, the Director of Library Services, is also the director of this year’s symposium. Tramdack said this year’s research symposium had more presentations than ever.

“This is the fourteenth year we are having the symposium,” Tramdack said. “There are 74 presentations total. We are looking forward to a great event.”

Senior public relations major Michele Sneddon, 22, participated  in the symposium. She explained why this is beneficial for students of all class levels.

“This event was specifically set up at the time when professors participating would be normally teaching a class, so their students could attend,” Sneddon said. “It makes it beneficial for both those participating in the event, and for underclassmen. If students attend they can get an outlook on what the future has in store and the work they will be doing.”

Sneddon, one of the many students participating in this event, explained why she’s taking part and what research she is presenting.

“The reason I chose to participate in this event is because I enjoyed a research project I did for my case studies class,” Sneddon said. “I figured that presenting my work in this symposium would be a great experience and help me add more to my resume. The research project I’m presenting is about media relations practices of the National Park Foundation. I’m presenting my project in the form of a poster opposed to a presentation. I thought it would be a good way to exhibit my design skills as well. It’s something I’m very proud of.”

Another student participating in the symposium is 22-year-old Amber Beason. Beason, like Sneddon, is also a senior public relations major who is presenting a research project she produced for her Public Relations Case Studies class. Beason decided to go a different route with the presentation of her material.

Beason was one of the many undergraduate students that chose to do an oral presentation.

“For my research project I analyzed employee relations of Chipotle Mexican Grille,” Beason said. “The reason I chose to do an oral presentation rather than use a poster is because I am usually on Chipotle’s careers page on their website [when discussing my research].”

Beason said her presentation would last about 10 minutes, with five minutes for questions.

“We get a 15 minute window for presentations so I plan to talk for 10 minutes,” Beason said. “I think that giving this presentation will help with my public speaking skills.”

While Beason and Sneddon decided to choose an oral presentation and a poster to show the work they’ve done, some students took a more artistic path.

Freshman theatre major Cole Vecchio, 19, and five other students will be reenacting Act I Scene II from Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Vecchio, who is the creator of the project, explained why he wanted to present it in the symposium.

“My research project is all about the invention and reinvention of Hamlet,” Vecchio said. “For this project I first analyzed the original 1600s version, and then compared it to the 1996 film version produced by Kenneth Branagh. I then compared these two films to the Richard Burton stage reenactment in 2012.”

Vecchio said that the whole concept behind this project is that no matter how many times a play is reproduced, there is always something different about it.

“I decided to perform this scene to just reiterate the idea that as we perform it, it will not be the same as the original.”

Vecchio also explained how presenting this scene at the symposium will be beneficial to him, and also to those viewing the project.

“This performance will show credibility and that I’m learning something here at Slippery Rock,” Vecchio said. “It’s good for my resume, practice, and the academic side of things. The arts are struggling in this day and age. We’re not just playing dress up. There is a cultural and educational purpose to what we do.”

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