Beloiters show curiosity and passion at 2023 Student Research Symposium
At the April 20 Beloit College Student Research Symposium, more than 50 presenters sparked the imagination and interest of the campus community.
But it’s hard to pay attention with a dragon curled up on Nico’s shoulder. Spiny and multi-colored, the dragon eyes the room filled with students, staff, and faculty, thinking he’s the star, but he’s not: today, the students are.
This annual event spotlights student research, special projects, and experiences, with more than 50 presenters this year. It’s also a popular way for the campus community to support student presenters on a class-free day.
Maker Lab’s 3-D printer that creates dragons.For students like Nico, Symposium creates a space to share what fascinates them, like the
Presenters come from all majors and class years to “show and tell” at this event. From an ecofeminist analysis of Jurassic Park to the study of Mexican Americans settling into small Illinois towns, that’s just a few of the fascinating presenters at the April 20 symposium.
Anthropology major Jared Saathoff’24 interviewed second-and third-generation Mexican Americans in his hometown of Sterling, Illinois. His research focused on how they assimilated into the community and also maintained their identity.
“Growing up in Sterling, there’s a clear community where Mexican Americans are an integral part,” Jared says of his research conclusion. “Once they come here, they feel like they belong, and that benefits all of us.”
Jada Daniel’23 researched the impact of Career Channels on domestic minority students, as part of a multi-year research project with Career Works, conducted under the mentorship of Career Works Co-director Emily Sager, and funded by a Midwest Association of College Employers grant.
Jada, a sociology, political science, and critical identity studies major, found that students, on average, were less interested in Career Channels opportunities than her research predicted, and domestic minority students were more likely to be extremely interested than students on average.
River Pham’23 discussed an on-campus Career Works internship, under the mentorship of Jessica Fox-Wilson, that examined the relationship between students engaging with Career Works and having desirable post-graduation outcomes.
“This research was not just a side project but an integral part of the Career Works research program,” says Career Works Career Development Advisor Emily Sager.
political science and economics major. Edward found through his research that negative campaigning does not significantly increase polarization, but rather may create a “backlash” effect against the sponsor.Qiongyi “Jasmine” Feng’23 delved into the literary works of Leo Tolstoy and Kate Chopin to find if female friendships were supportive or destructive, while negative political campaigns sparked the interest of Edward Verzosa’23, a
As the day wrapped up with a networking event with alumni, both student presenters and their supporters found the symposium to be a success.
“It’s always fun to attend the symposium, not just to cheer on your friends, but also to support the scholarship of classmates you might not know yet,” says Meg Kulikowski’21. ‘It’s an important day to listen, learn, and take in the amazing scholarship opportunities we have at Beloit!”
Grayson Jenson’25 agrees.
“It’s always a great feeling to support a friend who is being brave and taking an opportunity to share what they’re curious and passionate about with the rest of the student body,” Gray says.
One of Gray’s favorites was the presentation by friend Jared Saathoff, but they took advantage of the exciting roster of presenters at Beloit College’s Student Research Symposium.
“My favorite part of the Beloit symposium is experiencing the wildly interdisciplinary interests students on campus have,” Gray says. “In high school, you would be hard-pressed to find a student interested in Shakespeare or the similarities between Roman law and the modern U.S., but Beloit students are passionate about anything and everything. You are guaranteed to come across at least one presentation that covers a topic you are also passionate about!”