Centre College’s Undergraduate Research Committee (UGR) has been working closely with the Grace Doherty Library to offer a virtual version of the 13th annual Research, Internships and Creative Endeavors (RICE) symposium this year.
Traditionally held on campus, the symposium is an opportunity for students in all disciplines and class years to display research achievements, creative endeavors, internships and independent projects completed over the course of the school year.
RICE and UGR co-chair Eva Cadavid, associate professor of philosophy, said virtual presentations and posters will be available online on Monday, May 4. As of now, the committee is expecting 20 oral presentations and 20 posters, with about 60 students participating.
The committee wants to make sure the presenters have the opportunity to share their research with the Centre community, including parents, alumni and members of the Board of Trustees. They also want this to be as interactive as possible so visitors can leave comments and questions for the students.
“They will be able to see the projects and presentations online, and visitors can review the site at their convenience,” said Mary Girard, digital scholarship librarian.
According to Girard, the projects and presentations will be available online for the next seven years, as well as stored in the permanent Centre Digital Archives, as part of the Centre College Institutional Repository Collection (CCIRC). This feature allows participating students to reference their work for graduate school or job applications.
“When the campus had to close for the coronavirus, the UGR committee met to try to devise a way to keep the RICE experience for the students, and, since the library already had the online RICE repository in the works, it turned out to be pretty easy,” said Karoline Manny, reference, instruction and assessment librarian. “We are going to use the same online repository–a platform called Omeka–for the online RICE. The library created a guide for students to help them format posters and record presentations.”
In addition, this year, RICE will include prizes for the best three presentations or posters from each academic division. Cadavid said it is their hope to honor and recognize the work of the students and their mentors.
As always, this will be a great opportunity for the Centre community to spend time learning about the work students are doing.
On campus, RICE, and its related week of events, is a big celebration, and it is important for all students, whether they are a senior or a first-year. Even virtually, the symposium is still a unique opportunity for students.
“I think this is important, because it allows students to participate in an experience very much like a professional conference–this could even be used as a ‘dry run’ for a real conference presentation,” Manny said. “It allows students to share their work and be part of the scholarly conversation. It’s a great inspiration for rising underclassmen, and it is a great way for students to show employers what they have done–and having it online will make it very easy to share.
“One of the things I love about Centre is that the students have the opportunity—as students—to do the sorts of things most people can’t do until they are in graduate school at least,” she continued. “Their research contributes to the world’s body of knowledge in a real way. I think RICE is so important, because it allows that knowledge to get out into the world where everyone can benefit from it. And it allows the students a professional forum where they and others can see them for the scholars that they are.”
Join Virtual RICE beginning Monday, May 4, here.
by Kerry Steinhofer
April 30, 2020