CSU, Chico News

Students Place Second in Statewide Research Competition

Date: 05-12-2015

Zachary Phillips
Public Affairs
Sharon Barrios, Associate Dean
Office of Graduate Studies

Undergraduate history major Rodney Thomson and graduate geosciences student Kevin Anderson took second place in their respective sessions at the 2015 California State University Student Research Competition held at California State University, San Bernardino May 1–2.

CSU, Chico sent nine students to compete in the annual competition, which drew 247 students from 22 CSU campuses. Students presented in 19 different sessions determined by areas of study and degree standings. The competitors were the winners of annual research competitions at their home universities; CSU, Chico’s was held March 4.

Thomson placed second in the humanities and letters, creative arts and design, and interdisciplinary session with his project “The Evolution of Anti-War Activism at Chico State College, 1959-1966.” His faculty adviser was history professor Jason Nice.

Anderson placed second in the physical and mathematical sciences session with his project “Modeled Effects of Rice Field Fallowing on Groundwater Systems in the Sacramento Valley, CA.” His faculty advisers were civil engineering professor Steffen Mehl and agriculture professor Eric Houk.

Student presenters are judged using a list of seven criteria, including ability to articulate research; organization of their presented materials; clarity of purpose; appropriateness of research methodology; interpretation of results; ability to field questions from judges; and value of their research of creative activity.

Sharon Barrios, associate dean of the Office of Graduate Studies, said that CSU, Chico’s students stacked up well against competitors from other universities, even those that are much larger than CSU, Chico.

“It’s clear that our students are really prepared—their proposals are well-edited, their presentations are well-timed, they’re articulate, they’re practiced,” Barrios said. “I think that our students consistently, every year, really show well.”

Looking forward to next year’s competition, Barrios says that the Office of Graduate Studies hopes to increase student participation in the University’s Student Research Competition, which feeds into the statewide event.

“The research competition only shows one small part of [student projects],” Barrios said. “If we could see what everybody’s doing, we would be so astounded and proud. It buoys me up every year when I do this—‘Yes! This is why we work so hard! This is why we care so much about Chico State!’”