Upcoming book releases, soon-to-be published papers, community-based research, international study, gambling, and Mayan royal palaces comprise some of the fascinating research shared at “Behind the Classroom: Research presentations from Trent professors and students” held at Trent University Durham—GTA on April 6.
Many faculty and students from Anthropology, Business Administration, English Literature, Philosophy, Psychology and Sociology proved hands-on research, and the confidence to present it, are vital components of the learning experience on the Oshawa campus.
“I certainly learned the breadth of the research that is going on at Trent Durham,” stated Karen Fitzsimmons, a mature student in Psychology who presented an undergraduate thesis on dreams. “It’s really exciting.”
The event which included many undergraduate students, was co-organized by Dr. Helen Haines, professor of Anthropology and Dr. Rita Bode, professor of English Literature. Professor Haines feels Research Day reflects campus learning that extends far beyond the classroom.
She stated, “I’m hoping students are learning that we are engaged in larger research that’s affecting the world and that they are thinking in terms of their own future, research opportunities, avenues for research in terms of senior theses, or perhaps even graduate school.”
Angela Craig is a third-year student studying Anthropology with a focus in Archaeology. The first-time presenter captivated peers and faculty with accounts of uncovering ancient Mayan ruins with Prof. Haines in Belize. With future plans to attend graduate school, Ms. Craig is eager to return to Belize this summer to continue her research.
As presenting is an important part of academia, she reflected, “This is a good icebreaker, to get in front of peers and faculty and show something you’re passionate about.”
Madeleine Zoelman presented research pertaining to multiple choice testing, a project she had worked on with Trent’s Dr. Ben Bauer who also attended the event.
“I’ve been working on this for eight months so it’s rewarding to share with other people,” stated the fourth-year Psychology student. “As I’m graduating this year, it’s been four years of learning how to do research, how to write a paper properly and develop a hypothesis. It’s been great. It’s nice to say I did that. Here is my name on this piece of paper.”
Fourth-year English Literature student and Research Day presenter, Alexandra Holland is considering Trent’s postgraduate certificate in Human Resources following graduation. She said, “I enjoy speaking in front of people but it’s something that everyone can always work on.”
Her mother, Debbie Holland, came to the event to offer moral support. “It’s interesting to see that they go places and explore,” revealed Ms. Holland. “I’m getting a lot out of it and feel that I should be a student! I’ve seen my daughter present before, but not as this level. This is a whole other thing.”