Friday, April 29, 2011

Student Research Symposium

The Royal Wedding was not the only thing happening today. It was also the annual Student Research Symposium at St. Michael's College in which students present to the public the research projects and assignments they have been working on during the preceding semesters. There is no better way to show one's respect for a student's, or colleague's, research than to attend a public presentation of it. Knowing that others have an interest in what one does is one of the joys of the academic endeavor.

Merriam Webster defines research as "studious inquiry and examination". Another way of looking at research is that it is not complete until it is shared with someone else. In fact, much of what we do in our lives in terms of learning is not complete until we share it with someone else. This sharing validates not only the work we do, whether we be student, teacher or professor, but who we are as learners. Much of what we learn in college enables us to go on after graduation and earn a living wage but nothing quite matches the surge of accomplishment we get when we present our work in public.

The array of presentations on tap today at St. Mike's was awe inspiring from the scientific research that included words I couldn't even pronounce, to those from the History Department that show how sincerely our student revere the past to Ben Miller's remarkable presentation of his skills with the Scottish Highland pipes. Congratulations to everyone who presented and to everyone who watched and listened and validated the good work of so many.

Now I think I'll go and research the history of royal weddings; or maybe not.

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