Students seize interdisciplinary learning opportunity at conference

Today, students present months of hard work and preparation to in the 15th annual Student Academic Conference. This year, the SAC coordinators have worked to make the presentation schedule more accessible to conference attendees.

“This year, the SAC program is online, so it’s a lot more searchable and people are able to find specific information.  The schedule is not only organized by department, but you can also search for words like environment, and find all the presentations which deal with that subject,” SAC coordinator Richard Lahti said.

Throughout the day, students will present projects on a variety of topics including the probability of universal health care in America, the fashion of Vivienne Westwood and her affect on the 1980’s punk movement in Great Britain, and experiential marketing. Over 260 projects will be displayed in either short presentations or with informational posters.  Many students feel compelled to take part in the interdisciplinary research opportunity.

“The world is far beyond the boundaries of a student’s major. By learning through our fellow students, we stimulate cross-disciplinary learning that reflects the world we live in,” Student Academic Conference panelist and presenter Chu Yi said.

Besides the knowledge gained by the students who complete these projects, many report that they have gained confidence in their field from presenting in the past.

“Sometimes it’s hard to pinpoint those benefits students gain from participating but past students reported that in completing these projects they had something tangible to speak about during a job interview,” Lahti said.

All the community is invited to the conference, especially first and second year students.

“It’s really important for first and second year students to get a feel what is going on in the upper level of their discipline. A lot students who come to school, think that getting a degree is just taking classes, but its not, the upper classes require students to complete in-depth projects,” Lahti said.

Lahti also encourages students who are undecided about their major to attend, in order “to see what’s out there.”

Projects will be presented all day from 9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.  At 11:50 a.m. one of the founders of the conference, Ryan Sylvester, will deliver a keynote address to students.

“Ryan Sylvester challenges the students to conduct research projects expanding upon “Bridging the Disciplines” to “Bridging the Continents,” Yi said.

After the address student panelists like Yi will respond.

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