Students Prep for Annual Student Research and Creativity Conference

Junior Davrie Zengerly talks about her process for entering her research project in the SRCC. The Chase Photo: Gabrielle Smith

The Student Research and Creativity Conference was developed for students to showcase their projects and creative work to their peers, faculty and staff.

April 1 will mark the 46th annual SRCC—all classes will be cancelled. David Hemley, SRCC co-chairman, said this is a university-wide event. Three years ago, the SRCC first allowed students from the College of Fine Arts to participate in the conference by submitting creative work. Now, all college departments are welcome to take part in SRCC.

Over time, the conference has changed quite a bit. “When I originally become chairman there were just papers,” Hemley said. “My co-chairman, Suzanne Swift, suggested that we include posters.” He mentioned that there seemed to be an increase in the number of posters than research papers done every year. Overall, “The conference continues to grow,” he said.

To participate in the event, a student must first submit an abstract describing their project. If the student submits their abstract before the deadline and meets all other requirements, that student can present their project at the conference. Hemley mentioned this year the deadline was extended another week due to the recent snow cancellations and holidays. So far, there have been 182 abstracts submitted. Hemley said this year’s submissions will most likely exceed last year’s 215 abstracts. The 2020 deadline was Feb. 28.

Eastern New Mexico University student Davrie Zengerly will be one of the many students participating in this year’s SRCC. She is an anthropology major with an emphasis in archaeology. She learned about the conference from one of her professors, Heather Smith, who persuaded Zengerly to enter her research into the SRCC. Her research consists of “studying burned animal bone fragments to figure out what Paleo-Indians were doing with them at the time.” She mentioned that the animal fragments are caribou and estimated to be around 12,000 years old from Alaska. Zengerly mentioned she has been conducting her research project since September 2019.

One part of the submission process for SRCC consisted of her writing a 200-word abstract. For her presentation at the conference, she plans on designing a poster board to showcase all of her research.

“I just want my point to get across and for it to be clear for people to understand,” she said. Zengerly is not worried about winning a prize, but rather wants to make sure her research is precise, clear and easy to understand for everyone. By participating in the conference, Zengerly hopes to develop skills and knowledge to further her career.

The conference encourages students to walk outside of their comfort zone by conducting presentations and putting themselves out there for constructive criticism. “One of the benefits for the students is that it is something that they can put on their resume,” Hemley said. “Employers like to see things like that.” After the SRCC takes place, Hemley the proceedings are also

published with the students’ abstracts. The proceedings will be available on the university’s website.

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