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SMSU notes for Nov. 16

November 15, 2011
Marshall Independent

Undergraduate research conference Nov. 30 at SMSU

The sixth annual Undergraduate Research Conference will be from 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 30, at Southwest Minnesota State University.

Research projects from SMSU students representing 14 academic areas will be featured, said event organizer Emily Deaver, associate professor of Environmental Science.

Jim Gentile, president of the Research Corporation for Science Advancement, will deliver the keynote address. SMSU President Ron Wood will give the opening remarks at 8:30 a.m. in the Conference Center Upper Ballroom, followed by Gentile.

Approximately 180 students will participate in the Undergraduate Research Conference this year. Their research work will include either oral presentations or poster presentations.

The conference will take place at several locations across campus. Oral presentations will be given in the Conference Center Upper Ballroom and Charter Hall 201, while poster presentations will be held in the Conference Center Lower Ballroom and Bellows Commons.

Art displays will be in the upper level of the Student Center, and theater makeup demonstrations will be given in the Black Box Theatre.

Poster presentations begin at 8:30 a.m. Oral presentations begin at 9:45 a.m.

Oral presentations consist of PowerPoints about the students' research topic, followed by a short question and answer session.

Academic areas represented include art, art history, English, environmental science, biology, culinology, history, psychology, sociology, philosophy, interdisciplinary studies, accounting, theatre and creative writing.

Students will explain their project to the public, and others within the university community, during the day. The conference usually gathers about 500 viewers, including students, faculty, family, friends, university faculty and staff, as well as staff from regional scientific agencies.

Two McFarland Library research awards of $50 each will be awarded to the best oral presentation and the best poster presentation, based on the judges' evaluations.

Those wanting to find a particular student presentation can check at the table on the upper level of the Conference Center for a program listing the full schedule for the day. The schedule will also be made available online at:

The conference is free and open to the public.

Three SMSU faculty members publish manuscript

Three Southwest Minnesota State University faculty members will have a manuscript published in "Science Educator," a peer-reviewed journal that focuses on K-16 science, technology, engineering and mathematics issues.

The manuscript, titled "Gender Differences in Science-Related Attitudes and Interests Among Middle School and High School Students," will be published in the December 2011 edition of the journal.

SMSU Sociology Professor Vicky Brockman, Biology Professor Elizabeth Desy and Psychology Professor Scott Peterson jointly authored the manuscript.

The paper is a result of an Initiative to Promote Excellence in Student Learning Institutional Award earlier awarded to the trio by the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system.

The students that were surveyed for the study 6th-11th graders within Southwest Minnesota.

A Day at SMSU Nov. 19

Southwest Minnesota State University will host A Day at SMSU from 1-4 p.m. on Saturday.

A Day at SMSU is an opportunity for regional high school students and their families who are in the college search process to come to campus and meet faculty from the various academic areas at SMSU, tour campus and learn more about the University and what it has to offer.

High school seniors who visit can apply for admission free of charge.

For more information, call 507-537-6286.

Fall Forensics Showcase Nov. 29

The SMSU forensics team will host its annual Fall Forensics Showcase program at noon on Tuesday, Nov. 29, in Charter Hall 217.

SMSU forensics team members will be performing presentations they used during the fall competitive season. Events performed will range from oral interpretation of literature to public speaking.

Admission is free and refreshments will be served.

After the performances, forensics members will be available to answer questions about the activity.

The SMSU forensics team is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee Allocation Committee. It is coached by Mark Fokken and Hilary Rasmussen.

Dorman qualifies for national forensic tournament

Nick Dorman, a freshman speech communication and chemistry double major from Marshall, has qualified for the American Forensic Association National Individual Events Tournament April 6-9 at the University of Texas, San Marcos.

In order to qualify for the competition, Dorman had to meet rigorous qualification standards by placing at three intercollegiate speech competitions. In addition, the sum of his final placings could not exceed a total of eight.

Dorman has qualified in the prose interpretation category by capturing two third-place finishes and one first-place finish.

Dorman also competes in persuasive speaking and duo interpretation.



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