Some 250 students from 21 California State University (CSU) campuses will venture to Cal State Long Beach (CSULB) to compete in the CSU Statewide Student Research Competition on Friday and Saturday, May 4 and 5, in the campus’ College of Business Administration Building.
This systemwide competition showcases excellence in scholarly research and creative activity conducted by CSU undergraduate and graduate students in the full range of academic programs offered by the CSU.
“Each year, students from throughout the California State University system demonstrate a high quality of research in a wide variety of disciplines,” said Cecile Lindsay, CSULB’s vice provost and dean for graduate studies who is overseeing this year’s event. “Student researchers today are so much better at presenting their work than students were a decade or so ago, and I think this reflects changes in the way our faculty teach with much more emphasis on participation and active learning.”
Each campus is allowed to have up to 10 entries in the 10 categories at the competition, where student participants will make oral presentations before juries of professional experts from major corporations, foundations, public agencies, and colleges and universities in California.
Ten CSULB students, both graduate and undergraduate, will be among the approximately 250 competitors taking part in the 26th annual research event, and this is the first time in a number of years that CSULB has hosted the system-wide contest.
“This year’s team is especially proud to be selected since CSULB is hosting the competition,” Lindsay noted. “Hosting the CSU Statewide Student Research Competition is an opportunity to showcase our beautiful campus and the city of Long Beach. I think it’s important to involve CSULB faculty, staff and students in the event as well as community members.”
Among the 10 students from CSULB who will be competing are graduate students Thomas Baker, Ashley Frazier, David Lee, Denise Okamoto, Kayleigh Sevi and Rhiannon Vaughan as well as undergraduate students Michele Cadigan, Sarah Clingan, Calvin Fitch and Aaron Joffe.
Lindsay noted that CSU faculty members don’t serve as jurors to avoid the appearance of conflict of interest. CSU faculty are asked to moderate the sessions, but faculty from neighboring universities as well as local industry leaders are recruited to serve as jurors. Student volunteers also serve as moderators.
At the statewide competition, there will be separate undergraduate and graduate divisions for each of the 10 categories—behavioral and social sciences; biological and agricultural sciences; business, economics and public administration; creative arts and design; education; engineering and computer science; health, nutrition and clinical sciences; humanities and letters; physical and mathematical sciences; and interdisciplinary.
Each student will have 10 minutes for an oral presentation of his or her work before a jury and an audience and five minutes to listen and respond to juror and audience questions. Based on the recommendations of the jurors, cash awards will be provided to the outstanding presenter and the runner-up in both the undergraduate and graduate divisions of each category.
Each entry (oral presentation plus written summary) will be judged on clarity of purpose, appropriateness of methodology, interpretation of results, value of the research or creative activity, ability of the presenter to articulate the research or creative activity, organization of the material presented and the presenter’s ability to handle questions from the jury and general audience.
Friday’s presentations will run from noon to 5:20 p.m. and Saturday’s going from 8 a.m. to noon. which will be followed by an awards luncheon and keynote address from 12:30 to 3 p.m. in the Beach Ballroom of the campus’ University Student Union.
The keynote speaker at the luncheon will be CSU San Bernardino biology Professor Stuart Sumida, who has worked on ancient finds such as “Sue, the world’s largest and most complete Tyrannosaurus rex.” Helping students excel in the classroom with his knowledge of anatomy led to a simple lecture to Disney animators on how animals move. That led to consulting jobs on films such as “Beauty and the Best,” “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe,” and more than 30 more films by Hollywood’s major studios.
Following are the names of each CSULB student, the category in which they will compete and the title of their research presentation: