Student Research Conference to be Held in December

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Max Mower, Centurion Staff

Bucks County Community College students and teachers are preparing themselves for the Student Research Conference, a bi-annual event in which Bucks students orally present on their personally chosen research topics, much like similar conferences held by graduate students and research specialists.
Bucks’ Student Research Conference has been a staple event at the college ever since its conception, having been put together every semester now for over 10 years. This event is open to students from and topics related to just about all of Bucks’ majors, though originally it was a language and literature event for students in the school’s Composition classes.
Since then, the conference has become an incredibly diverse gathering of those with many similar and different interests, with presentations ranging from intricate and well-documented Art History topics, to informed and impassioned writings on Political Science.
The conference is a rare opportunity for Bucks students, as many community college attendees do not often get the chance to present their academic findings to such a wide audience, especially so where they will receive constructive feedback from a myriad of those experienced on the topic.
A few Bucks professors also require the conference as part of their curriculum, while others offer it as a form of extra credit, both providing motivations for students to polish up on their research and public speaking skills for their own current and future benefit. The influence of professors aids the diversity of topics at the conference, with each new semester featuring a plethora of new, fresh ideas from students exploring their areas of interests.
Many students find the process of preparing for the conference to be enjoyable, as it allows one to view their research outside of the scope lengthy writings for a class to simply acquire a good grade and move on. Taking their research outside of the oftentimes restrictive box that classroom assignments of put them in, students can pour their passions for research and specific topics into their papers, making for well-written pieces full of purpose.
With all the benefits this conference provides, for students, faculty, and the publicity of Bucks as a whole, the advent of the COVID-19 virus’ spread has changed the typical way the conference brings people together.
Professor Sarahlyn Bruck, one of the current co-directors of the conference, said that despite the disconnection between participants due to the conference’s new remote setting, COVID-19 brought about “some nice surprises. It’s much easier now for people to view the event via Zoom, and has resulted in larger turnouts of participants and viewers”.
This is proven by the impressive number of 160 students that participated in last semester’s conference. The ability for students to network, or “schmooze”, as put by Professor Bruck, during the conference’s regular lunch break has been lost, but the event is still very beneficial to all those who participate.
This semester’s Student Research Conference takes place on Friday, Dec. 3, and submissions for topics are open until end-of-day on Thursday, Nov. 11. With anywhere between 100-200 students participating each semester, it’s an excellent way for many to boost their confidence in academic and working world situations that require in-depth levels of research and the ability to present to large groups of people.
With all the resources available for research on the Bucks website, potential participants have a wealth of options open to them to utilize this opportunity to improve their skills in many disciplines. All information on how to research, orally present, and submit your topic idea to the conference is available at: https://www.bucks.edu/academics/department/lang-lit/conference/