SOCORRO, N.M. October 18, 2011 – New Mexico Tech is launching a new public event that will open the windows to all the interesting student research and design projects on campus.

The Student Research Symposium is set for April 13, 2012, and all students – graduates and undergraduates – are invited to submit papers and present posters or talks about their work. Any interested student can register with the approval of his or her research advisor.

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Students, staff, faculty and community members are invited to an information session at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 26, in Weir 102.

Dr. Mary Dezember said the goals of the new event are to provide a student-centered event that will allow students to improve their communication skills and foster a greater sense of community, thus improving the connections among all Tech students.

“This symposium will help students learn how to present research, but it will also give Techies a venue to see what sort of amazing research and design projects are happening in academic areas they might not be familiar with,” Dezember said. “The task for the presenters will be to present their work in a format that will be understood by the broader university audience.”

Dezember is the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs and a professor in the Communication, Liberal Arts, and Social Sciences, or CLASS Department. She said the impetus for the symposium germinated at a workshop hosted by the Higher Learning Commission in the spring of 2011. The Commission selected Tech to participate in a pilot project, in which the Commission tasked universities in good standing with the HLC to develop a plan to improve their campuses. Seven faculty and staff members attended the workshop.

“As a group, we came up with an idea for this symposium,” Dezember said. “We think it’s a great fit for New Mexico Tech. What we’ve observed is that students form connections within their departments. We are hoping the symposium will foster a more campus-wide sense of community.”

Dezember also said another goal of the event is to encourage students to improve their communication skills. This research and design symposium will feature students who are presenting their work to an interdisciplinary audience. Student presenters will be encouraged to take advantage of the Writing Center and the Oral Presentation Center, both of which offer free advice and mentoring.

“A symposium like this will further prepare students for what they’ll be doing in the workplace,” Dezember said.

Students must submit a paper and give either an oral presentation or a poster presentation. Registration will open in late November and continue through February 10, 2012. Guidelines and criteria for papers, oral presentations and posters will be available on the symposium’s website by mid-November. Poster presenters must submit their posters by March 23, 2012, to be printed in time for the symposium. All papers must be submitted by April 2, 2012.

Research and design papers that meet specified criteria for writing and research will be published by New Mexico Tech in a new journal. Oral presentations that meet specified criteria will be put on the symposium’s website. The symposium committee is assembling panels of external and internal reviewers to help determine which projects meet the requirements for publication. Tech alumni are especially welcome to volunteer as reviewers.

The event will be Friday, April 13, in the Fidel Center and Workman Center. Poster presentations will be in the Fidel atrium in the morning. Oral presentations will be in the afternoon in Workman 101 and possibly other locations on campus.

For more information, contact Dr. Mary Dezember at dezember@nmt.edu or visit the symposium’s website at www.nmt.edu/student-research-symposium after Monday, Oct. 24.

– NMT –

By Thomas Guengerich/New Mexico Tech