By John Plue
Fitchburg State University held the tenth annual Undergraduate Research Conference on Thursday, April 18, 2019, in Hammond Hall. There were around 123 students with either posters or other forms of presentations, such as oral presentations, that participated in the conference this year. The conference is here to showcase students works, whether through their research, talent, and creativity. There was a vast majority of topics for anyone attending to explore and learn more about.
The research conference holds an importance to many of the students. Ryan Carter, a junior majoring in Criminal Justice, said “the public speaking aspect of it as well as the research part of it” is important to him. He explained that he wants to become a professor “this is a great experience for it.”
Carter’s project was “Motor Vehicle Theft: A Crime of Necessity”, the research and work taking about a year and a half. “I would 100% [recommend] other undergrads doing this [research conference]. It’s a great experience public speaking and research wise. It’s great for the resume and if you want to go into the teaching and research professions,” Carter said.
Heather Gureckis, a senior in a double major of Psychology and English, said “I think it’s great that students have a chance to showcase something they’re working on.”
Gureckis’s research was about earplugs and how the awareness and advocacy has changed in the past 17 years. She had put in a two months’ worth of work into her research. She said the hardest parts was “finding the main points and knowing what the important thing to take home is.”
To future students Gureckis said “Totally do it. It was really fun doing something more independently. It was nice to do something different than the regular school day.”
Kelly Doherty, a senior in Interdisciplinary studies with a focus of education and disabilities, said “my teacher told me I should do it. I wouldn’t have done it if she didn’t tell me to.” Even if she did not want to do it because, as she said, “I didn’t really think that my project was that special” she still stuck to it and got the work done. Andrew Gagnon, a senior in the Psychology major, said “Take the opportunity if it’s given to you. It is a lot of work but it’s worth it in the end.” Doherty is a prime example of that. She was pushed to go a little further and was a part of something bigger than just a classroom.
For future students who may wish to do it, Carter said “No matter how difficult it gets, stay the course.”