Student and faculty/staff collaborations take center stage this month
On Friday, April 13, the 4th annual Day of Celebration will take over the St. Norbert College student union in a day-long presentation. After months spent in the lab doing careful research or long hours poring over meticulously written articles, it’s not hard to imagine why the day is so popular. It gives students—not to mention their proud faculty and staff mentors—the chance to present and show off all their hard work.
Collaborations allow students the opportunity to get some hands-on experience by getting out from behind a textbook and the boundaries of classroom learning.
“I believe in engaged pedagogy and the idea that collaborative learning produces the best and most interesting scholarship,” says
Karlyn Crowley, assistant professor of English. “This is one of the most important days at the College because students are presenting their work to a real audience, which raises the stakes versus an imagined audience.”
Crowley adds, “I’ve witnessed a shift in student self-esteem and intellectual esteem by watching them perform at this day and other conferences. They gain experience performing in public, receiving feedback from their peers and preparing articles.”
Kurstan Cunningham, assistant professor of chemistry, believes that students’ grades improve in class because of their laboratory research. “The techniques they learn in the lab give them confidence. A Day of Celebration gives them the opportunity to present their work in a supportive environment."
Timothy Berto ’07,
John Sabo ’07 and
Laura Kubista ’08 participated in a research project with Cunningham and presented at last year’s celebration. Kubista says, “The experience is fun to do! My passion is being in the lab doing research.” She will be applying to graduate school in the fall. Berto and Sabo graduate from St. Norbert College next month. Tim plans to pursue his Ph.D. in chemistry, while John is applying to brewing science programs to become a master brewer.
Co-sponsored by the Office of Faculty Development and the Office of the Dean of the College, A Day of Celebration focuses on the valued tradition at St. Norbert College of collaborations taking place in labs, in studios and in other scholarly or creative settings, resulting in a rich array of scholarly research and creative works.
All types of collaborative projects are featured including those that grew out of independent studies, class assignments and informal hallway conversations, as well as the formal projects supported through donations from alumni and others to the Student-Faculty Development Endowment Fund and the Research Fellows Program.
The celebration isn’t just for on-campus folks—the event is free and open to the public. Alumni are welcome to return to campus to check out what their favorite professors are doing and to reminisce a bit about their own research projects.
Don’t let the fact that the day falls on Friday the 13th keep you away. Stop by any time throughout the day to view the presentations and posters of the 40 student and 22 faculty/staff participants. The day ends with a recognition ceremony and reception with complimentary refreshments.
Here’s just a sampling of some of the projects that will be on display this year:
- Building 21st century skills—one Lego at a time (Instructional Technology)
- Productivity outcomes for quarterbacks chosen in the 1999-2004 national football league player entry drafts (Economics)
- St. Norbert College alumni profile database and three-year graduate survey summary (Career Services)
- Student paper presentations at the Sigma Tau Delta English honor society undergraduate conference (English)
- Synchronizing light to music automatically—LightSync (Computer Science)
- Impact of lake size on diet diversity of largemouth bass (Biology)
- Substitution at the alpha carbon on 1,10-phenanthroline derivatives (Chemistry)
- Mathematics of the Soduku puzzle (Mathematics)