Students to Present Findings and Gain Life Skills at Research Week

Research Week is an annual event sponsored by the Liberty University Graduate School, the Liberty University Center for Research and Scholarship and the Jerry Falwell Library, which will be held from Monday, April 9 to Thursday, April 12 to showcase research projects across different studies.

According to Dr. Darren Wu, associate director of the Center for Research and Scholarship, Research Week, which already has about 80 research project submissions, is a meaningful event that allows students from all areas of study to build their knowledge through research and permits them to share that knowledge with their peers and the faculty here at the university.

“The reason it is important is because it gives our undergraduate and graduate students here at Liberty the opportunity to be able to present their research to an internal audience, sort of as a dry run to any regional or national conferences that they may want to present their research to,” Wu said.

This year CRS will be hosting the regional Big South Undergraduate Research Symposium, from April 13 to 14 directly following Liberty’s Research Week.

According to Wu, 2018’s Research Week comes with a new avenue for students to display their research, particularly students who have researched areas such as performing arts. This allows students in areas of study such as film, theatre or music to perform their research to an audience setting, rather than give a classic oral or visual presentation.

Emma Jane Maurer, a senior theatre and journalism double major, explained how she had had an interest in exploring her area of study through research, particularly research in drama therapy, yet did not have the capacity to do so before being introduced to Research Week.

Mauer is on a research team working on a project called “A Phenomenology of Drama Therapy.” The project, according to Mauer, seeks to research the ways and settings this type of therapy can be used, as well as the future implications of this research.

“I thought it was a really cool opportunity from the beginning, but it was something I never thought I’d have the opportunity to participate in as someone coming from the humanities, so to be handed the opportunity is something that I greatly enjoy and don’t want to take for granted,” Mauer said.

Wu explained that, although research traditionally began within the fields of science, Liberty approaches research as being able to cross multiple disciplines, and he encouraged students from all areas of study to participate in Research Week. In addition, Wu believes that presenting one’s own research allows him or her to gain skills that go beyond the academic setting.

“For the most part, a large majority of students have done research or will have done research during their time here at Liberty,” Wu said. “If you take the extra step of presenting at Research Week, it gives you the experience of speaking in front of peers and gives you those soft skills that are learned in being able to defend your work in a critical way. When you go for a job interview, that’s exactly what you are going to be doing, essentially defending yourself and what you are capable of. So Research Week is an avenue for students to be able to gain some skills that apply to life beyond just school.”

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