Students discuss their scientific research at annual showcase
November 21, 2011
The Rev. Dennis H. Holtschneider, C.M., president, applauded research in natural sciences, mathematics and technology disciplines by more than 100 students who displayed their handiwork in a recent showcase.
“I’m very proud today to see your work,” Fr. Holtschneider told the 9th Annual Natural Sciences, Mathematics & Technology (SMT) Showcase in McGowan South on. Nov. 4. “I look forward to all the many ways that our world will be improved because you mastered your field, constructed powerful research, and then shared those findings with a waiting world.”
The event not only highlights student research, but it builds community among the participating departments and colleges. The university-wide SMT Showcase draws majors from the College of Science and Health, the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences and the College of Computing and Digital Media (CDM). Each year, students present 60 to 80 research projects.
DePaul alums serve as keynote speakers
“The event is designed to provide undergraduates an opportunity to showcase their work and to reward them for doing the work,” said Associate Professor Jacob Furst of CDM, who chairs the event’s organizing committee. “It also allows the students to practice explaining their research to a non-professional audience.” Faculty mentors also attend the showcase.
The keynote speakers each year are DePaul alumnae. Susi Rankis, who has a bachelor’s degree in geography from DePaul, is the sustainable forestry administrator for Rural Action, a non-profit that works with communities in the Appalachian region of Ohio. Rachel Rimmerman, who has a bachelor’s degree in international studies from DePaul, is the water brigades coordinator for Global Brigades Honduras, which works with local communities on water-related issues in that Central American country.
In his welcoming remarks, Fr. Holtschneider said, “My message to you this afternoon is a simple one. If you want to truly change the world, prepare yourself at the highest levels. Become the expert that the world seeks out. Master your field and you won’t have to yell from the sidelines. Let your work be unimpeachable and people will invite you into the conversations that matter. Then, once you are in, you can speak the truth as you know it and add to that field with the highest levels of scientific research.”
The event was coordinated by DePaul’s STEM Center, formerly the Interdisciplinary Science & Technology Center. It was renamed and expanded this summer with renewed purpose in supporting collaborations across the university in STEM initiatives. STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and math.
“The showcase provides our undergraduates a unique professional development opportunity,” said Victoria Simek, associate director of the STEM Center. “Many of them will go on to present their research at local and national conferences. It is an exciting day of learning, networking and celebrating. The participation of the president, provost and college deans, along with the support of their faculty mentors, tells our undergraduates that we believe in them, that we know they will succeed.”
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