Campus News

Undergraduate Research Symposium Showcases Student Research Virtually

April 24, 2020
Hillary Hempstead
student uses EEG on another for research.
Charlotte Babarinsa '20 uses electroencephalography (EEG) in a study to understand the neural mechanisms that lead to decreased crossmodal temporal acuity. Study authors Babarinsa, Zoey Keeley, Kathryn Hirabayashi, Samantha Papadakis, Zoii Barnes-Scott, and Russell Jaffe will present their research in the 2020 Undergraduate Research Symposium. Photo credit: Mike Crupi

The Office of Undergraduate Research invites everyone to an online symposium between April 27 and May 2, featuring research from Oberlin College and Conservatory of Music students.

Despite restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Oberlin College Undergraduate Research Symposium will continue—in an online format—to showcase collaborative work between Oberlin students and faculty. 

Typically held as a one-day, in-person event, the Undergraduate Research Symposium is an annual conference that highlights Oberlin College and Conservatory students’ research, along with the academic and artistic work of each year's graduating class.

This year’s online symposium spans six days. The new format makes all research broadly available through recorded video and poster presentations that may be viewed online by anyone. Research is accessible between April 27 and May 2 through the Office of Undergraduate Research website and can be viewed at any time. Authors, titles, abstracts, and Q&A information is also available on the page.  

Many student presenters will also hold live Q&A sessions on Blackboard, which can be accessed by those in the Oberlin community.

Leslie Kawakye, associate professor of neuroscience and director of the Office of Undergraduate Research, says that it is vital to provide students a platform to share their projects. “By presenting their research, students can engage in the final step of the research process: sharing their newly created knowledge with the world. It's important to honor and acknowledge their hard work, their dedication, and the new knowledge that they are producing.”

student Eder Aguilar
Eder Aguilar will present  research that analyzes experiences of Latinx students at Oberlin.
Photo credit: Courtesy of Eder Aguilar

For senior comparative American studies major Eder Aguilar, research with Professor of Comparative American Studies Gina Pérez on Lantinx students has taken place over two years. His presentation of “Am I Latinx Enough?” Latinx Ethnic Identity, Belonging, and Expression of Latinidad at Oberlin College” analyzes experiences of Latinx students at Oberlin “through a focus of their ethnic identity formation, their feelings of belonging, and their expression of their Latindad.” 

“This research has been two years in the making,” says Aguilar. “Though these circumstances have been incredibly strenuous, I am proud of the work I have done and I am incredibly grateful for the students who participated in my research.”

Third-year economics major Sun Moon, whose research with Assistant Professor of Economics Martin Saavedra explores the impacts Japanese internment during World War II had on life spans, says the research experience has been valuable. 

“I didn’t realize how much I would learn from engaging in the research process. I’ve discovered so many different ways and methods to explore our research question. It was rewarding to apply the knowledge I gained in the classroom.”

In this gallery , view some of the 2020 presenters working on research at Oberlin (prior to the transition to remote classes) and at home.

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