Celebration to show students importance of individual research

Colleen Huston, News Writer

The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh Celebration of Scholarship and Creative Activity, sponsored by the Office of Student Research and Creative Activity will take place on Thursday April 26. The celebration gives students the opportunity to show their own work and give an understanding as to why their research is important.

History professor and Interim director of the OSRCA Stephen Kercher said the UW Oshkosh Celebration of Scholarship and Creative Activity is a welcoming environment and a good place for those who are only beginning their undergraduate research.

“We like to think that the Celebration of Scholarship and Creative Activity is a really good place for a student to stretch their wings and discover their full potential,” Kercher said.

Kercher said the event offers students a great opportunity to collaborate and teach each other.

“It helps students to understand why their work matters,” Kercher said. “They are able to get to the essence of the matter as well as teach other students and their peers.”

UWO sophomore Josey Strand, who participated in last years Celebration of Scholarship and Creative Activity, said she enjoyed being able to show her own research as well as learn about other topics.

“It was really cool to be a part of this event because not only did I get to share the research I had worked on for months, but I also got to learn about the work that other students were doing in a variety of different fields,” Strand said. “It’s really interesting to see their work because you can see how they’re doing their research and improve the way you do your own.”

UWO senior Alex Siebers, who also participated in last years celebration, said he presented the research he did on refugees while competing with the UW Oshkosh Model United Nations team.

“We presented our position paper for Namibia’s position paper for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees on topics such as protracted displacement, promoting livelihoods and education for refugees and environmental migration,” Siebers said.

Siebers said the topics discussed were important to him and his research partner, and it was important to discuss them with the public.

“Refugees are some of the most disadvantaged populations around the world,” Siebers said. “In a country of privilege such as the United States, we are never exposed to this kind of despair, and it is important that we discuss the realities of the world we live in and work to find ways in which we can create change in the world to end this suffering.”

Jennifer Depew, president of the undergraduate students and creative activity, said getting involved in undergraduate research completely changed her life and she encourages other students to get involved.

“The confidence that completing research gave me allowed me to continue to move forward in my career, and the resume-building aspect of completing research cannot be overstated,” Depew said. “After getting a paper published, I feel confident that I can see difficult things through to the end, and I feel proud that I was able to contribute something truly original to human knowledge.”

Depew said it’s important to take advantage of every opportunity given, especially when professors are able and willing to help.

“The best thing that students can do to jump over that fear is to talk to the professor in their major,” Depew said. “Your professors are here to help, and many professors are very willing to work with a student on a project or oversee student research.”