Hometown: Denison, Texas
Graduation Year: 2014
Project Presented: Territory Marking: Hickeys and How the Behavior Relates to Dominance & Insecurity
Faculty Sponsor: Renee Countryman
How did you become involved in research: I talked to Renee about wanting to start research so that I could get more experience and figure out what I wanted to specialize in for Grad school.
What you learned from the conference: Participating in the ACSC gave me the opportunity to learn about other research that was going on around the AC community. It was very interesting to see the different kinds of experiments that everyone had been working so hard on, as well as the different results that came from each of the experiments. Since I come from the Psychology department, I almost never get the opportunity to hear about the science research that has been going on at AC and a lot of it was very interesting. It is very easy to get caught up in the research that you’re doing and to forget about the other things that are going on, so the ACSC really gave everyone the chance to share their research with students, faculty, and staff that might otherwise not have had the opportunity.
The opportunity to participate in the ACSC was great practice for the Southwestern Psychological Association (SWPA) Conference that was held a few weeks after the ACSC. The opportunity to present our posters to the Austin College community provided me with the confidence to make the most of the SWPA Conference presentation. This prior experience presenting my work was very important. Questions that were asked of us at the ACSC were similar to some of the questions we received at the SWPA conference, and because we had already answered many of them at the ACSC, the conversations we were able to facilitate at SWPA were much more in-depth.
Hometown: Bedford, TX
Graduation Year: 2014
Project Presented: Changes in Resistivity over a Range of Temperatures
Faculty Sponsor: Andra Petrean
How did you become involved in research?: The required research class for physics majors
What you learned or found most valuable from participating in the ACSC: The opportunity to participate in the ACSC not only gave me the chance to practice Microsoft Publisher and provide some experience making a poster to summarize my research, but it also required me to think more carefully about my research. The experience of trying to explain a huge scientific endeavor in under a minute was a new one for me. Nonetheless, this was important for me to think about my research goals and outcomes, my audience, and how I communicate complex concepts with a diverse audience. All of these things will of course benefit me in the future.
Hometown: Sherman, TX
Graduation Year: 2013
Major: Political Science
Project Presented: Congressional Member Organizations and the Presentation of Self
Faculty Sponsor: Nathan Bigelow
How did you become involved in research: I am pursuing a career in academia, and I wanted to prepare for grad school applications.
Please Describe the Overall Experience: This was a great learning experience for meeting deadlines, writing, and presenting. I found myself and others presenting our research in layman terms, largely because we were presenting to audiences outside of our field. Because I later presented the same research at a national political science conference, I can now see the differences more sharply. Long story short – my experience presenting at AC felt like teaching an introductory class, while the national conference felt like teaching a graduate level class.
I wouldn’t say this is a negative; it is always necessary to accommodate your audience in any format. I simply wanted to draw attention to this difference. Because I was presenting political science research to an audience that did not include professionals and experts in political science, much of my presentation was dedicated to explaining basic concepts of my discipline. Perhaps in the future, audience composition could be specialized by encouraging, incentivizing, or requiring some upper level classes, like senior capstones, to attend their subject’s presentations.
On the other hand, I also personally enjoyed learning more about psychology, biology, chemistry, and other areas as an audience member. Interacting with such a diverse audience was also one of my favorite parts of the conference.
Hometown: McKinney ,TX
Graduation Year: 2013
Project Presented: Poster presentation on the thermodynamic stability of β2-m
Faculty Sponsor: John Richardson
How did you become involved in research: It all began with summer research at AC.
What you learned or found most valuable from participating in the ACSC: My most valuable experience at the conference was the exposure to some of the research going on in the humanities and social sciences. As a science major, I have enjoyed opportunities to attend various departmental seminars, such as biology and chemistry, which have allowed me to gain a deeper understanding of the research going on in the sciences. However, I did not have adequate knowledge about the research going on in the humanities and the social sciences prior to attending the conference. It was nice to have the opportunity to see the work that my friends and professors are working on in other departments and divisions. As part of a liberal arts education, I feel like it is very important to be well rounded and have exposure to a wide variety of subject areas. The ACSC was a very positive experience, for me personally, because it brought together many diverse individuals working on a variety of unique research questions. I hope that the conference continues to do this in the future for AC students.