On July 21-22, the Center for Experiential Learning and Career Success (CELCS) hosted Trinity University’s 2022 Summer Research & Internship Symposium. This Symposium also marked the 38th Annual Department of Chemistry Research Symposium and the 17th Annual Summer Undergraduate Research Conference.
“The Symposium is like our own Trinity spotlight of excellence,” says LadyStacie Rimes-Boyd, J.D., the associate director of Campus Relations for CELCS. “Because the research and internships span the arts, sciences, and humanities, there is a little bit of everything present.”
This year’s Symposium featured 225 students, including 189 students engaged in summer research, including through the Stumberg Summer Accelerator program, and 36 internship students from the Arts, Letters, and Enterprise (ALE), Mexico, the Americas, and Spain (MAS), and the John Donahue Social Justice programs. More than 81 faculty mentors across 33 academic departments and disciplines mentored these researchers and interns, guiding them through their summers of experiential learning.
“The Symposium is the culmination of a summer full of discovery, challenge, and really hard work,” says Katie Ramirez, the director of CELCS. “Students dress professionally, present either through an oral presentation or poster presentation, answer questions from folks outside of their research groups, and approach each other with a sense of curiosity. As a side benefit, this also allows students to have a conference presentation on their resumes or CVs, which can be helpful down the road.”
This summer was the first time the Symposium has been held in person since 2019. Students and faculty were especially excited to showcase their work in the presence of their families and peers. “The rest of the campus community, student families, and community partners were once more introduced to what Trinity Talent is,” Rimes-Boyd says. “All the warm faces, comments, and encouragement not only help the projects shine but also help spur the students to greater personal heights of achievement and faith in themselves.”
Undergraduate research is one of the many unique opportunities Trinity offers its students. “Experiential learning, or learning by doing, is a hallmark of a Trinity education,” Ramirez says. “A good experiential opportunity challenges a student to process, reflect, and make changes as they go—allowing them to immediately apply things they're learning. With the faculty mentors there to guide this process of growth and reflection, students gain real-world experience that helps set them up for success as they pursue lives of meaning and purpose. The ability to reflect and apply changes is a skill that's useful no matter what a student goes on to pursue after graduation.”