Research Week to Include New Activities

By: Graduate Studies on

Student Research Week at UCF begins April 2 with an array of new activities aimed at helping students who do research get better at it, and to show those who haven’t tried their hand at it the many ways research makes a difference.

In addition to the event’s traditional workshops, Showcase of Undergraduate Research Excellence, scholarships, Graduate Research Forum and awards, there are many new additions including:

  • Tales from the Pegasus’ Side, a new talk featuring a Pegasus Professor, April 2.
  • Oral presentations in addition to poster presentations during the Graduate Research Forum, April 3
  • Meeting of the Minds, a session in the Neptune Housing Community to discuss what life as an undergraduate researcher is like on and off campus, April 3
  • Pieta, a live performance led by College of Arts and Humanities Assistant Professor Wanda Raimundi-Ortiz, April 4

For a full schedule visit the website.

 Grad Forum Image

New this year is a kickoff event with President John C. Hitt and Elizabeth Klonoff, vice president for research and dean of the College of Graduate Studies, who will introduce the program. In addition to recognizing graduate students and faculty with awards, there also will be the Tales from the Pegasus’ Side talk. The goal of the presentation is to have UCF’s Pegasus Professors, who have been presented with UCF’s top academic award, talk to students about what it takes to become a leader in their chosen field.

The inaugural speaker is UCF’s first Pegasus Professor Charles “Chuck” Dziuban, director of the Research Initiative for Teaching Effectiveness at UCF.

The Awards of Excellence – including the Award for Excellence in Graduate Student Teaching, Award for Excellence by a Graduate Teaching Assistant, and Award for Faculty Excellence in Mentoring Doctoral Students – also will be handed out at the kick-off event. Additional awardees will be recognized at Founders’ Day Honors Convocation on April 4.

And for the first time in 2018 participants are invited to a one-of-a-kind presentation of The Pieta Project, in which artist and College of Arts and Humanities Assistant Professor Wanda Raimundi-Ortiz invites 33 volunteers of color to be held by her, each for three minutes and 33 seconds. The award-winning work has been performed at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery and will feature a special twist during its 6 p.m. performance April 4 in the Student Union Atrium.

Organizers expect a record number of participants this year. More than 300 graduate students have submitted proposals to participate in the Graduate Research Forum, the largest number to date. It will also be a record-breaking year for the Showcase of Undergraduate Research Excellence. More than 600 undergraduates will present more than 400 posters at the judged competition. Nearly $30,000 in scholarships will be awarded.

Carlos Vasquez, an undergraduate student studying Psychology, will be one of the presenters. His research focuses on how speaking more than one language and having an ethnic-sounding last name affects the way job candidates are viewed during the hiring process.

Andrea Piazza, a first-year master’s student in the Counselor Education, Clinical Mental Health track in the College of Education and Human Performance, will give an oral presentation, about her literature review of dance movement therapy and its applications in traditional couple counseling.

She said she became interested in ways to combine therapy and dance while earning bachelor’s degrees in dance and psychology from the University of Florida. After watching couples in a movement class for people with Parkinson’s disease she started to wonder what benefits dance therapy could offer over traditional talk therapy.

Moatz Saad, a doctoral student in the College of Engineering and Computer Science, studied the design of access lanes to toll stations, typically one of the most dangerous areas on a highway.  He studied 32 scenarios for length of access lanes and came up with a specific recommendation for the safest distance.

The Graduate Research Forum will be Noon-4:00 p.m. April 3 in the Pegasus Ballroom at the Student Union. The Showcase of Undergraduate Research Excellence will be April 5 in the same location. The event includes two sessions: noon-1:30 p.m., and 2:30-4:00 p.m. An awards ceremony will begin at 4:30 p.m. In between, there are several special workshops that cover topics such as “How to Turn Your Research into Money” and “Meeting of the Minds: Undergraduate Research Student Panel.”

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