CSU, Chico News

Students to Present in Annual Research Competition

Date: 02-18-2016

Zach Phillips, editorial assistant
Public Affairs
Sharon Barrios, Associate Dean
Graduate Studies

California State University, Chico will host the 2016 CSU, Chico Student Research Competition on March 2 from 5-9 p.m. in Colusa 100. The top 10 student presenters will be invited to compete in a statewide competition in April.

The competition is open to currently enrolled CSU, Chico students from any discipline, as well as alumni who graduated in fall or spring 2015. For the first time, this year’s competition will feature cash prizes sponsored by the Office of the Provost for first, second and third place competitors in each respective session.

“I think the local event is special because it’s our broadest interdisciplinary research forum on campus,” said Sharon Barrios, associate dean of Graduate Studies and coordinator of the competition. “The local competition, run in this way, is a great opportunity for students across the disciplines to see each other’s work.”

The competition itself 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 audience, followed by a five-minute session of fielding questions from both parties.

After fielding questions, the competitor is judged based on a series of criteria, including clarity of purpose; appropriateness of methodology; interpretation of results; value of research or creative activity; ability of the presenter to articulate the research or creative activity; organization of the material presented; and the presenter’s ability to answer questions effectively.

The statewide competition, featuring the top presenters from participating CSUs, will take place at CSU, Bakersfield April 29-30.

Rodney Thomson, a master’s student in his last semester of History coursework, participated in last year’s CSU, Chico Research Competition and moved on to place second in the statewide competition. His research explores the history of antiwar activism at CSU, Chico.

Thomson noted the value in taking critique from a diverse panel of judges and the effect it has had on his research.

“I had been getting feedback from the history department, which is great,” Thomson said. “But getting feedback on [my research] from people who are not historians threw a whole new perspective on it. I think that’s really valuable in these competitions.”

Students who wish to participate in the competition must submit an application (PDF) and a written summary of their research project by Feb. 25 to the Office of Graduate Studies, SSC 460.

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.