Students showcase work at annual research celebration

Sexual assault on-campus, measuring radiation through migrating fish populations and the findings of a horse skeleton excavation were all topics at the 2015 Research Celebration. Over 200 students presented posters on their research in the SUB Ballrooms on Thursday, April 9.

Topics ranged broadly, and students from every college presented research. The celebration was separated into a morning and afternoon session, giving each researcher an hour and a half time slot to communicate their findings.

Undergraduate Scholars Program (USP) Director Colin Shaw said, “It’s a great opportunity to share with the MSU community.” He also mentioned the importance of a diverse and interdisciplinary research community on campus and the benefits of “hands on learning.”

“Research is valuable because it allows students to apply what they learned in the classroom to the real world,” said Scarlet Schwendtner, USP coordinator.

Fiona Grubin, a freshman who examined sexual assault experiences on campus said, “It’s important because we’re doing it for the good of public health.” She noted the importance of sexual assault statistics and the affects sexual assault can have on a campus climate.

Research measuring radiation through studying migrating populations of fish, specifically langcod, was conducted by senior Aaron Blaser. He said that research is a good way for students to “boost real world application.”

Senior Molly Taylor’s research consisted of the excavation and analysis of a horse skeleton found on a Montana ranch. Taylor was able to determine the horse’s age at death as well as physical ailments that may have affected the cause of death. “For me, it’s so nice to work hard for something and have something to show for it,” she said.

According to Monica Rodriguez, a senior who presented research on community based resources, “Research opens up people’s eyes to things they might not have thought about.”

The research process includes several steps, from gaining proper funding through grants to the execution of experiments and eventually the analysis and presentation of data. Many students who presented research had the opportunity to travel through their research, and were able to visit places including internationally and nationally such as Washington, other parts of Montana, Kenya and Morocco.