March 12 was a big day for 16 UW-Green Bay undergraduates, as they got the opportunity to present their original research at the state Capitol in Madison.
As participants in the 11th annual UW System Posters in the Rotunda event, the students had the opportunity to join some 150 of their peers from throughout the System. They spoke with fellow students, administrators and state legislators about projects as diverse as the students themselves.
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“My project is an analysis of trust lost in a privacy breach incident,” said sophomore Ben Lindberg.
“I really was interested in looking at how women and men were portrayed in music videos,” said senior Tara Schilawski, “and if those stereotypes that are so prevalent in society are reflected in the music videos.”
Senior Katie Hobbs was part of a group of six students who presented their original research under the supervision of faculty mentor Denise Bartell, who also made the trip.
“We’re presenting our poster, it’s called gateways to Phirst Year Success,” Hobbs said. “And it’s navigating college by building successful relationships.”
Senior Computer Science major Shawn Snyder had yet another area of focus for his work.
“The topic I’m presenting on today is how to make physics simulations more efficient,” Snyder said.
And senior Kristine Alvarez put her Political Science major to work in establishing her research project.
“My poster focuses on the relationship between voter turnout and three variables,” Alvarez said, “which were income, education and income inequality.”
Presenting at the statewide event will be an advantage as Alvarez continues her academic career, she said.
“Being a part of Posters in the Rotunda is something that I can go ahead and put on my resume,” Alvarez said. “And that will actually set me apart when I start applying for law schools, which is my ultimate goal — so this is a wonderful opportunity for that.
For Hobbs, the opportunity to speak with legislators about her group’s work was invaluable.
“It feels like more like I’m having more of an impact, I guess, like representing something,” she said. “I’m standing for the UW System, standing for UW-Green Bay, standing for our program.”
Students like Snyder said the experience would give them an in with potential employers.
“One major thing that employers look for is experience,” Snyder said. “And not only does research provide you with experience, but if you have a completed project, through and through, they really love to see that. It means you have ideas but you also see those ideas through.”
And that you can communicate them well, added Lindberg.
“I think there’s a lot of great things about this opportunity,” he said. “I think you know, presenting, being able to share what you’ve learned and trying to communicate that effectively to people is a great skill to learn. I think it’s great practice both for future academic pursuits and my career.”
Click here to see a photo gallery from Posters in the Rotunda 2014.
Click here for more information about Posters in the Rotunda.