Research fair helps undergrads make connections
Grand Valley State University students had an opportunity to connect with professors and peers with
comparable interests and research goals at the annual Undergraduate Research Fair that took place
Tuesday. The event brought together more than 36 departments that presented research
opportunities to about 100 undergraduate students in attendance.
“This is where students start making connections,” said Susan Mendoza, director of the Office of
Undergraduate Research and Scholarship. “It’s a passive way for students to get involved and stay
involved as an undergraduate.”
The event was to help students become acquainted with research opportunities on campus. The
research available to students allows for a unique and original output that will contribute to the
knowledge of a particular academic discipline in the form of a written or oral presentation.
Students were able to communicate questions and concerns with professors in a relaxed environment
at the fair and learn more about exploration prospects on campus.
“Students benefit significantly from the process of conducting research,” said Michael Scantlebury,
associate professor of hospitality and tourism management. “You have to do research so you can
interpret data in a setting outside of the classroom.”
Each year, the event seems to grow exponentially with more and more opportunities for students who
have research-based ambitions. Yet another reason for students to get involved with research
opportunities is the possibility of scholarships and grants based on their research.
“This is an experience that students shouldn’t miss out on,” Mendoza said. “It gives you a chance to
be a part of something unique to the Grand Valley experience, a chance that has only positive results.”
Giving information regarding past experiences and possibilities for the future, professors were able to
inform the students on ways to expand knowledge of their major as well as other subjects.
“The whole event was informative and useful, and I learned more than I expected coming in,” junior
Kailey Rosema said. “It is important for students, especially undergraduate students, to get informed
and get their foot in the door for these kinds of opportunities.”
Students and professors are able to keep in contact with those interested in each field of study based
on the connections made at the research fair.
“There’s a lot of face-to-face communication that you can’t get elsewhere,” said Megan Woller-Skar,
professor of biology at GVSU. “This event allows for good information and for a good experience for