CSU, Chico News

California State University, Chico Students to Present in Annual Research Competition

Date: 02-28-2017

Michele Chandler
Public Affairs
Sharon Barrios
Office of Graduate Studies

California State University, Chico will host the 2017 CSU, Chico Student Research Competition on March 7 from 5:30–9:30 p.m. in Colusa Hall, Room 100. The interdisciplinary competition will give students the chance to showcase their scholarly achievements and creative work while getting the feedback needed to further fine-tune their presentation and communication skills.

Now in its 31st year, the competition is open to undergraduate or graduate students who are currently studying at the University. CSU, Chico graduates who received their degree in the spring, summer or fall of 2016 are also eligible to enter.

The contest “offers student participants a rare opportunity to polish their work and hone their oratory skills in preparation for a public presentation to an audience of peers, family, faculty mentors and faculty judges,” said Sharon Barrios, interim dean of the Office of Graduate Studies and coordinator of the competition.

The event is divided into sessions based on discipline—encompassing the sciences, business, engineering, education and the arts—as well as by class standing. Student competitors have 10 minutes to present their research to a faculty jury and general audience, followed by a short Q&A.

The students will be judged on criteria including clarity of purpose, appropriateness of methodology, interpretation of results and the value of their research or creative activity. The student presenters will also be judged based on their ability to articulate their research, their ability to effectively answer questions and how well the material being presented is organized.

Cash prizes will be awarded to the outstanding presenter and the runner-up in each category in the undergraduate and graduate divisions.

As many as 10 local winners will be selected to compete at the prestigious systemwide competition on April 28–29 at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, “where they will compete against hundreds of students from across the 23 CSU campuses,” said Barrios.

Participation in the broader CSU event “offers our students a chance to showcase their own exceptional work before a bigger audience. Every year, their success at this event adds luster to our campus’ reputation as a quality educational institution,” said Barrios.

Maria Olson, a master’s student in Communication Studies, participated in last year’s local competition. She presented her research about the communication that occurs between international students and their college advisors.

“I suspected there was a skillset that was required in order to be an effective advisor with international students,” said Olson, who also believes it is possible for every advisor to to learn those abilities. “I thought some of [the skills] were innate, but that some of them could be learned,” said Olson.

Olson said being expected to clearly explain her research to people from outside her discipline made her think in new ways. The process “really pushes you to your boundaries, of being able to juggle your presentation and your thoughts and your motives with being cohesive and clear,” said Olson, who said she was awarded second place in her group last year.

Results from past CSU, Chico Student Research Competition events can be found here.