A.R.C.H. provides students opportunity to showcase their research, talents

Release Date: 2/20/2013

Named Advanced Research and Creative Highlights (A.R.C.H.), the university's first true research symposium will offer students from every discipline on campus a chance to come together and showcase the high standard of work that marks an Ozarks education.

Advanced Research and Creative Highlights (ARCH)The symposium will be a week-long event running from April 15-19. Entry packets for interested students are available now. Awards and cash prizes will be given to the best presentations.

Director of Campus Activities Emma Bottorff has been organizing and preparing for the symposium and is excited to see many months of work coming to fruition.

"I would love to say that this was all my idea, but Dean of Student Life Sherrie Arey made this project a priority as soon as I came to campus," Bottorff explained. "The idea evolved as a result of some student evaluations. Many of the students didn't feel like anyone outside of their discipline knew about their research and accomplishments. Some students also mentioned they didn't have an arena to present and defend their work outside of the few professors and students they work with on a daily basis. A research symposium solves many of those issues."

The driving force behind this first symposium is to include every discipline on campus.

"We decided to call the symposium 'Advanced Research and Creative Highlights' in order to emphasize that this symposium is not just for research projects, but for creative works as well," Bottorff explained.

Bottorff referenced an example of a theatre student who presented a poster presentation about a performance he had given. The student included photos of his creative process, from getting into character to wardrobe changes to actually performing. 

"We want to encourage everyone to think about how they can present their work, no matter the area they study," she said.

The symposium will be divided into three sections: oral presentations, fine arts presentations, and poster presentations. Students will indicate in their entry packets which section they wish to participate.

Oral presentations will take place April 15-16, and space will be limited.

"The oral presentations will require visual aids and will be given a total of 15 minutes per presentation, including a five-minute question and answer session with the judges. The number of oral presentations will have to be limited simply because of time constraints, so depending on the number of applicants that section could be highly selective," Bottorff said.

Fine arts presentations will be April 17 and will include prepared monologues, poetry readings, vocal and instrumental performances, and art displays.

Poster presentations will take place on April 18 and will offer the largest venue for showcasing students' work.

"We aren't limiting the number of poster presentations, and we really want to emphasize that any project can be presented on a poster. It doesn't have to be a traditional research project. It could even include the results of clinical experiences, student teaching, organizational involvement, or internships," Bottorff explained.

Dean of Student Life Sherry Arey added, "Space is not limited for poster presentations. However, we will still need to approve each project before it can be included in the symposium. We plan to announce on April 5th which students have been accepted to participate."

Faculty and staff members are encouraged to recommend deserving students who may not apply on their own.

"If faculty and staff members have a student in mind whose work would be especially important to the symposium but who may not have the confidence to apply on their own, they should definitely recommend that student to us," Bottorff said. "We'll do our best to follow up with that student and secure an application packet from them."

Entry packets are available now. Paper copies can be picked up in the Student Life Office, each division office, and the Jones Learning Center. An online version is also available at http://www.ozarks.edu/ARCH.

Along with the entry forms, students will need to include a 150-200 word abstract summarizing their project and a letter of validation from an Ozarks faculty or staff member. Entry packets must be received back in the Student Life Office by March 25th, 2013.

For more information, stop by the Student Life Office or email Bottorff at ebottorff@ozarks.edu. Bottorff will also host two informational sessions for students: Friday, Feb. 22, at 11 a.m., and Monday, Feb. 25, at 11 a.m., in the Rogers Conference Center.