This April, the third annual is Research Month at Minnesota State.
Research Month was first initiated by former MSU President Richard Davenport in 2021 and featured virtual events. This year events are online and in-person and most are free and open to the public.
According to Dr. Teri Wallace, Associate Vice President for Research, April was chosen because the school year is wrapping up and “we’re at a point of celebrating” the work and projects completed throughout the year.
“Research is so important on our campus, from the faculty and the work that they do to the way students get to participate with faculty guidance to really learn that inquiry process, which can serve so many different aspects of one’s life,” Wallace said. “Not only just the research at the institution, but then down the road they’re able to follow that investigatory process that can be super useful for students and graduates.”
The Research Month website has videos of President Inch and academics deans talking about why research is an essential aspect of university life. The site also includes a calendar of events and information about grants and applications.
Throughout the month, students in the Honors program will be presenting their graduating final portfolios that demonstrate Honors skills learned throughout their university careers such as leadership, research and scholarly activities. The portfolios have examples of experiences that helped the student develop competency.
James Ziegweid, an Honors student graduating in May, was among those presenting final portfolios on April 10.
“I was able to apply the leadership skills I have to something that’s a real life type of thing. So it’s a really good way to reflect on all of the different experiences that you’ve had over the course of your college career,” Ziegweid said.
Ziegweid presented his portfolio to his honors advisor, a member of the Honors Council, and a faculty member of his choosing—speech and debate coach Katie Brunner—who all decide if he passed his honors portfolio defense.
“(Brunner) definitely had a big impact on my life over these past two years so I’m really looking forward to having her in that meeting,” Ziegweid said.
Other events on the Research Month Calendar include various showcases from students and faculty, the Undergraduate Research Symposium and the ART of Equity Symposium on reducing gaps in gateway courses, which Wallace said she is particularly excited for.
“I’m really proud that the institution does this and I hope each year we can continue to expand,” Wallace said. “I get to work with a lot of wonderful people currently. It takes a bit to put this kind of thing together and make this known to folks so that they can come and participate. It’s building our reputation and letting more people know the fantastic things that happen on campus.”
Header photo: At MSU, April has been deemed Research Month to celebrate the hard work and projects that have been completed throughout the year. (Dominic Bothe/The Reporter)
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