Students to present research, artistry, community engagement

URADNIU’s seventh annual Undergraduate Research and Artistry Day will take place from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 19, in the Duke Ellington Ballroom of the Holmes Student Center.

Hundreds of NIU students – including Robin Grooms, Jenée Carlson, Jessica Fliginger and Earle Isibue – will present their faculty-mentored work through the Office of Student Engagement and Experiential Learning event.

The day also includes the Community Engagement Showcase, scheduled from noon to 3 p.m., when students who have participated in various service projects will talk about those experiences.

All are welcome to attend. call (815) 753-8154 or email URAD@niu.edu for more information.

Renique Kersh, associate vice provost for Engaged Learning at NIU, encourages members of the university community to attend for an impressive look at what undergraduates can produce.

“It is purposeful work that has lasting impacts. The students are paving the way for every new generation that follows,” Kersh says.

urad-2“Having an opportunity to witness the ‘aha’ moments that occur for our students, the increase in confidence from the beginning of their engagement in research and artistry until their URAD presentation and the pride that is evident in the faculty and staff that have supported them along the way is a bright spot and a reminder of how important our work is.”

Participation in URAD has grown by 52 percent since Fiscal Year 2011, Kersh adds.

“Although the room cannot accommodate much more growth, we welcome the opportunity to have the problem of outgrowing the space,” she says.

“Our goal is not just based on mere numbers, but the more students who engage in undergraduate research and artistry in any form, the more we are able to ensure that we are on-mission, promoting engagement in hands-on learning experiences that increase student career success.”

Students who engage in undergraduate research and artistry develop deep connections with NIU while they develop essential skills for career and life, Kersh says.

The university’s cornerstone goal of Student Career Success, and the tremendous support it enjoys from faculty and staff, are part of what makes NIU unique, she adds.

URAD-badge“It’s challenging and time-consuming work, both for the students and the faculty involved, but the commitment of our faculty to engaging students in this way is unmatched,” she says. “We know that employers are lining up to hire students who are strong thinkers, adept at oral and written communication and with the ability to work independently and efficiently. These experiences encourage this growth in our students and prepare them to be the next leaders and scholars in their field.”

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