Showcasing the popularity of Student Research Day (SRD) at California State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH), this year more than 450 students found time during their busy academic schedules to develop and present comprehensive research to the campus community.
The over-whelming response in student submissions resulted in the largest SRD in the event’s 11-year history on the campus, and the decision to extend the conference over two days.
Along with the hundreds of student presenters, nearly 100 faculty served as mentors, and more than 170 faculty, staff, alumni and outside professionals sat in on sessions to critique their work.
“It’s unbelievable! The number of students involved continues to rise each year,” said Ellen Junn, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs at CSUDH, who addressed a packed Loker Student Union ballroom during the lunch program on day one of SRD. “You [the students] are among a very unique group. You get to have an experience that not all students in undergraduate institutions have—to get involved directly with your faculty in your research, scholarly work or creative activities… I’ve been at a number of institutions and I can say this is the most faculty engagement with students that I’ve seen.”
Comedian Sandra Tsing Loh served as keynote speaker during the lunch program. She has been named one of “America’s 50 Most Influential Comedians” by Variety magazine, has performed off-Broadway solo comedy shows, has done radio commentary on NPR’s “Morning Edition” and ”This American Life,” and has her own radio shows on KPCC called “The Loh Life” and the syndicated “The Loh Down on Science.” A prolific writer, her new book “Madwoman in the Volvo: My Year of Raging Hormones,” was named among the “100 Most Notable Books of 2014” by the New York Times.
Loh weaved together heartfelt academic messages and comedy during her remarks, which left the audience in stitches.
“I’m hoping some of you find as you present your research that there might be a passion for teaching there,” said Loh, who teaches science communication at the University of California, Irvine. “I’m a middle-aged lady, so I might get a little weepy about this, but I think the teachers are the real heroes of today… It’s such an important mission for universities to give this kind of research opportunity, this kind of communication, and this kind of energy and community to the next generation.”