CSU, Chico News

Students Prepare to Present in Annual Research Competition

Date: 02-27-2015

Zach Phillips, Editorial Assistant
Public Affairs
Sharon Barrios, Associate Dean
Graduate Studies

California State University, Chico is hosting the 29th Annual CSU, Chico Student Research Competition on March 4, 2015, from 5 to 9 p.m. in Colusa 100A.

The competition gives undergraduate and graduate students from all disciplines the opportunity to showcase research projects they have been developing and receive feedback from a panel of faculty judges.

Competitors must first supply a completed application (PDF) and a written summary of their research project. At the competition, they present their work orally to the panel of judges and an audience of faculty and peers.

After fielding questions from the audience and judges, competitors are ranked based on a scoring system. The top 10 presentations are selected to compete in the statewide competition, which will take place at California State University, San Bernardino May 1–2, 2015.

Sharon Barrios, associate dean of Graduate Studies and coordinator of the competition, said that although the competition has grown significantly in the past couple of years, she still remembers the first competition she helped pull together.

“I was utterly inspired and uplifted by seeing what our students were doing,” Barrios said. “And I have to admit, I was very proud of our faculty too, because it was clear that faculty mentors had worked so closely with these students and had guided them.”

Barrios also noted that CSU, Chico students excel at the statewide competition and that they have a reputation as a tight-knit and supportive team, making sure that each presenter has a support group watching from the audience.

Marty Salgado, a graduate student studying creative writing, has been working on a creative nonfiction thesis focusing on his experiences as a Mexican-American growing up in a predominantly white area. He presented his project in last year’s research competition.

“My favorite part is getting feedback, not only from the professors but also from the audience, from the community who may be interested in what I’m working on,” Salgado said. He will be presenting again in this year’s competition and is excited to showcase the progress he has made on his thesis.

Kelsey Caldwell, another CSU, Chico graduate student and returning competitor, recognizes how much she has grown since she first presented in the competition as an undergraduate.

“I’m so much more excited now to go in for round two and present my work because I can see such a huge difference in the improvements that I’ve made, as an academic and a scholar, “ Caldwell said. This year, she will be presenting a qualitative research project that analyzes Twitter posts using #whyistayed, a hashtag that accompanies personal perspectives from victims of abusive relationships. Caldwell said that her research revealed society’s lack of understanding when it comes to abusive relationships.

Caldwell noted that the competition is empowering not only on a professional level but on a personal one as well.

“I was very passionate about my project. I mean, it emotionally impacted me,” Caldwell said. “Those were very personal stories that really get to you, as the researcher. And then having the opportunity to pull all of those together and then share with my peers what’s really going on, I really feel that my work can make a difference in society.”

The deadline for submitting applications and proposals is Sunday, March 1, 2015, by 4 p.m. Applications and proposals should be emailed to Sharon Barrios at sbarrios@csuchico.edu. For more information on competition requirements and guidelines, visit the Graduate Studies website. The annual CSU, Chico Student Research Competition is funded through the Office of Graduate Studies and Instructionally Related Activities (IRA) funds.