The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences

Shannon Sartain '21 Attends the Ivy League Undergraduate Research Symposium

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Shannon Sartain '21, Rockefeller Center Mini-Grant Recipient, in front of her poster at the Ivy League Undergraduate Research Symposium.

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Shannon Sartain '21, Rockefeller Center Mini-Grant Recipient, attends the Ivy League Undergraduate Research Symposium.

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Mini-Grant recipient, Shannon Sartain '21, shares her experience attending the Ivy League Undergraduate Research Symposium.

The Ivy League Undergraduate Research Symposium was a conference held at the University of Pennsylvania this spring. There, I presented my Earth Sciences research as a poster to a judge for my respective category. Assembling my poster allowed me to gather my work up until now into a coherent narrative—knowing I would have to present on my work forced me to take a step back and look at what my data were saying. Additionally, presenting for a judge was an entirely new experience for me, and at the symposium, I was able to practice communicating my work in an easy-to-understand way.

However, aside from presenting myself, I was also able to listen to others and learn about their work. At the symposium, I saw keynote presentations by professors as well as plenary talks by fellow presenters. Most all of these were unrelated to my field of study— something I appreciated, as I typically interact with researchers studying similar things to me. These experiences widened my perspective on what constitutes “research.” For example, one professor of anthropology presented on multi-modal research presentations, specifically referencing the use of film in academic presentations and publications.

Overall, the best part of the conference was getting to know and discussing my research with other undergraduates. This symposium had the unique position of being centered around research, but not around professors or graduate students — rather, undergraduates. Furthermore, it was with students whom I hadn’t met, so aside from discussing academic work, I had interesting conversations about student life and the research environment at their respective universities.

-Submitted by Shannon Sartain '21, Rockefeller Center Mini-Grant Recipient 

The Rockefeller Center's Mini-Grants program funds registration fees for students attending conferences, as well as the costs of bringing guest speakers to Dartmouth. The views and opinions expressed here are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of the Rockefeller Center or constitute an endorsement by the Center.

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