The Office of Undergraduate Research’s fourth-annual Humanities, Arts, Social and Behavioral Sciences, Education and Business conference will be held 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Nov. 18, in the John Gray Center. The keynote speaker will be Lamar alumni Alisa H. Fryar.
Abstract submissions are due Oct. 30 and participants must complete registration by Nov. 4.
“It’s a great opportunity for students to present their research, exchange ideas, and to learn and understand what academia is all about,” OUR assistant director Catalina Castillón said. “A few years ago, I was approached by OUR director Kumer Das who asked if I would be interested in something like this and I told him yes, because the opportunity for my research students was too good to pass up.”
The HASBSEB conference, like the one for STEM, is open to Lamar students of every classification, and to students who do not attend Lamar but are interested in presenting their own ideas or are curious to see what research Lamar is involved in.
“I want to make a point to reach out to students in the performing arts, whether it be art, dance, music or theater, because although they have other chances to present what they do in concerts and such, we want to diversify our presentations as much as possible,” Castillón said. “Creative arts are so important to undergraduate research and our goal is to include everyone.”
Castillón said that by attending and participating in such conferences, students are investing in their own futures and careers.
“Experience in these events will give students points in resumes that will put them ahead of their competitors in the future,” she said. “It’s not the same to graduate, and then try and get into graduate school, or to go straight into the job market or an industry and say, ‘I did very well, I have this GPA, and took these classes.’ All others will be on the same level, but if you show that you have conducted undergraduate research and have presented at conferences, that puts you at a completely different level.”
Castillón said many of her undergraduate researchers were able to adapt to their new work environments quicker and smoother after presenting at the HASBSEB conferences.
“I have students who are applying to graduate school who are so confident in their abilities since participating in the conferences,” she said. “They already have theses and presentations built and are ahead of the competition.”
Attendees will see the work of their colleagues and students from other states.
“We want guests to know that Lamar is the place for undergraduate research, and we want their best researchers to come and present here,” Castillón said. “I want our students to showcase what they do best and to gain new perspectives from each other.”
Castillón said students who are curious about the research process should attend the conference and ask questions to the students and speakers during panels so that they can gain a better understanding of what she said is a tremendous experience.
“Come and support your classmates who are presenting,” she said. “You might realize that you can do this, too.”
To apply or for more information, visit lamar.edu/undergraduate-research, or call Antoinette Henry at 880-8430.
Story by Olivia Malick, UP staff writer