Almost 50 University of Maryland graduate students presented their research Wednesday at Stamp Student Union for the GSG’s Graduate Research Appreciation Day.
The annual event gives graduate students an opportunity to show faculty their research progress, rather than a final product, which likely encouraged more people to sign up, conference coordinator Ria Moghe said. Five oral presenters and two poster presenters will receive money.
Moghe, a business analytics graduate student, said she used to work on the National Conference for McNair Scholars and Undergraduate Research and recognizes how different these events are. While full-scale conferences organized by other organizations or universities tend to be more rigid and formal, according to Moghe, Wednesday’s event is meant to be a starting point for future success.
“Having platforms and conferences just provides our grad students with a place where they can come, they can make mistakes, they can get more confident with not just their research but their ability to communicate and talk about their research,” Moghe said.
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Judging panels were organized by topics ranging from social justice to health research innovations. At least one judge on each panel was not an expert on the subject matter the panel was focused on, which graduate students said allowed them to practice translating their research for the average person.
“One of the interesting things is we have to present in a way that not just people from our field understands, but that you can communicate it to everyone,” said Snehesh Shrestha, a computer science doctoral student who presented research that combined music education and artificial intelligence.
Silvana Montañola, a medical anthropology doctoral student, presented her work about creating safe spaces in the Washington metro area. She said it was invigorating being to connect with people in other departments doing similar work.
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Since the event was so graduate-student focused, Montañola felt that the event gave her the opportunity to get constructive feedback about her research and practice presenting before sending it out to other conferences.
Joey Haavik, the Graduate Student Government president, opened the conference by emphasizing the importance of starting conversations and working to solve humanity’s complex issues through research.
“We hope that today’s presentations and discussions will inspire and challenge us to push the boundaries of our programs and make meaningful contributions across our respective fields,” Haavik said.
This week is the university’s graduate and professional student appreciation week. Provost Jennifer King Rice said supporting the graduate student body is vital to this university’s success as a top research institution.
“We value all that you do and the many roles that you play here at the University of Maryland,” Rice told attendees. “As students and teachers and researchers and writers and graduate and lab assistants and so much more, your work cuts across and serves all levels of our institution.”