About 300 people will attend The University of Southern Mississippi’s 2015 Undergraduate Symposium on Research and Creative Activity.
The two-day event will take place Friday, April 24 through Saturday, April 25.
The symposium began as an annual event for USM’s History Department. Alumnus Donald Drapeau began sponsoring a series of cash prizes in 2012 and by 2013, the Department of History decided to expand the symposium by allowing students from all departments to participate.
The two-day event includes art, music, dance and theater performances as well as paper and poster presentations.
“Students who present get a lot of benefits,” said Amy Miller, associate dean of the College of Arts & Letters and co-chair of the Undergraduate Symposium planning committee.
“Not only do they get the experience of being involved in a professional activity, but they also, obviously, get to put this on their resume and build connections with other students and faculty. It also helped students who attended last year who did not present think about ways they could present in the future.”
Miller said the event is designed like a professional conference and an opportunity for students to see classmates in a different light.
Both new and returning participants expressed their excitement for the symposium.
“It definitely looks good on a resume and I’ve already gotten accepted into an internship in Boston because of my research experience,” said Christopher Cruz, a senior psychology major. “After I graduate I plan on going to graduate school and doing more research, so I figured I may as well get more practice now.”
“You can only learn so much from just researching and reading material, but it adds so much when you start doing applied work. When you start doing it for yourself. It better allows you to evaluate the information you are presenting,” Cruz added.
Austin Allen, a junior communications major said the symposium will help him with achieving his career goals.
“The symposium is an opportunity to share an appreciation for academia with other undergrads,” Allen said. “I plan to pursue a doctoral degree so the symposium is giving me the much needed experience critical to pursuing my future goals.”
Suzanne Amadi, a senior psychology major said she is excited to present because she enjoyed the first symposium held in 2014.
“The USM symposium is one of the best academic events that I have participated in at Southern Miss, and I look forward to this year’s turn out,” Amadi said.
Friday’s events begin at 4 p.m. in Marsh Auditorium. Saturday’s events begin at 7:30 p.m. and will take place in the Liberal Arts Building.