Annual conference showcases student research


SU students host panel discussions during SU’s annual Minds@Work Conference, which displays student research and accomplishments.

Shippensburg University undergraduate and graduate students presented their research and creative work at SU’s annual Minds@Work Conference on April 25.

The conference featured 31 departmental conference panels, 17 honors symposium presentations, 41 individual presentations and poster presentations from 19 departments. More than 100 undergraduate students received research grants.

A departmental conference panel included “Rising Voices: Intro to Poetry Students Speak Out.” During the panel, students from Nicole Santalucia’s introduction to poetry classrecited their poetry.

“’Intro’ is a word that was out the window at mid-semester,” Santalucia said. “These guys are pros.”

Santalucia read one of her own poems, “Gay Crickets and Three-Legged Dogs,” to start the panel. The topic of the poems ranged from family to relationships.

SU student Zach Geesaman read four poems he called “cliché love poems.”

A political science department conference panel, “Issues in Panama, Central America, and the Western Hemisphere,” included six students in an applied diplomacy course that shared their experience at the Washington Model Organization of American States in Washington, D.C.

The students described their role in researching what they studied throughout the semester and how they applied their research at the conference.

The students said the course taught them how to solve problems diplomatically. They reiterated it was necessary to go in to the conference with an open mind, and not as an American.

“At the end of the day, it has taught me so much,” said SU political science student Kelci Jones. “It’s just amazing how much [people from Central America] differ from us and how much we can learn from their experiences.”

SU sophomore Jordan Back said the Minds@Work Conference showed him how much he learned through his research this semester, and was able to make more connections with his research that he may have not realized before.

“It really took sharing my knowledge with people who were unfamiliar with the topic to see how much I gained,” Back said.

SU sophomore Moriah Hathaway said she was able to narrow her research and further understand it to share it with others.

Hathaway recommends other students present their research to grasp a better understanding of their topic.

“Every student that does independent research should consider doing Minds@Work so other students can learn something new,” Hathaway said.

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