It is encouraging to see the Undergraduate Science Research Fair place a greater emphasis on including and engaging students on the forefront of research projects.
Last Wednesday’s research fair, an annual event in Sellinger Lounge put on by Georgetown Psi Chi, the international honor society of psychology, featured posters and larger display booths from various faculty-conducted research labs across the psychology and biology departments, as well as from science departments specific to the School of Nursing & Health Studies. The event offered a variety of research opportunities, from behavioral science to linguistics research, relevant to the academic careers of many undergraduates. The various departments stressed the role of research in any science-related field, as well as the advantage of learning basic research methods as early as freshman year, especially for those with their sights set on medical school or other graduate science programs.
The choice to have mostly undergraduates or graduate students represent each laboratory was particularly well executed. Although a faculty member leading the inquiry likely could have spoken to that project’s purpose more fluently, employing a freshman biology major, for instance, struck a more approachable tone for attendees. The fair’s exceptional turnout of more than 100 undergraduates, even when compared to last year’s event, highlights the need on campus for well-marketed events that communicate to students the resources available for research. If there is a lesson to be taken from Sellinger Lounge last Wednesday, it is that such interactive advertisements are effective and should be employed by an even wider array of academic disciplines.