Establishing a Student Research Day: A Library-Campus Collaboration

Establishing a Student Research Day: A Library-Campus Collaboration

Megan Margino Marchese
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-6684-2515-2.ch007
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To develop Farmingdale State College's first interdisciplinary research event, the library collaborated with several campus departments to establish Student Research Day. Inspired by its acquisition of a poster printer, the library proposed the implementation of a student poster session, sought out campus partnerships to garner student involvement, and secured event funding through a campus grant. Specifically, the library formed a strong partnership with the Research Aligned Mentorship (RAM) Program. This program provides extra benefits and research opportunities to students who are selected from a lottery of minority, low income, and/or first-generation college students. Through its collaboration with the RAM Program, the library facilitated specialized instruction, assessed students' confidence levels in conducting research, and successfully hosted a large-scale research event, the first of its kind at the college.
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In 2018, the Farmingdale State College Greenley Library collaborated across a number of campus departments to develop the college’s first interdisciplinary Student Research Day. The inaugural Student Research Day featured poster presentations from 86 undergraduate students across a variety of disciplines. The planning and program engaged numerous entities across campus, including faculty sponsors, a poster evaluation committee, and more than 150 attendees including members of the community.

Originating as a two-year agricultural school, Farmingdale State College (FSC) transitioned to a four-year baccalaureate institution in the 1990s and has been working towards fostering a culture of student research (Cavaioli, 2012; Farmingdale State College n.d.b). The Greenley Library takes an active role in teaching information literacy and research skills to students and believed it was an ideal time to propose a student research event/poster session. University funds were available through a competitive campus-wide call for grant proposals. The library was already planning to acquire a poster printer and it was an ideal time to seek out campus partners to garner student involvement and secure event funding. Specifically, the library worked with the Research Aligned Mentor (RAM) program. RAM provides additional academic support and research opportunities to students who are selected from a lottery of low income, first-generation college students, and/or members of historically minoritized communities (Farmingdale State College, n.d.c). Through its partnership with RAM, the library facilitated specialized instruction, assessed students’ confidence levels in conducting research, and successfully hosted a large-scale research event, the first of its kind at the college.

This chapter will discuss (1) a review of the literature in regard to the benefits of undergraduate research conferences, (2) using grant funding to develop an institution-wide research event, (3) implementing a poster printing service in an academic library, (4) developing collaborative relationships with departments outside the library, (5) the Greenley Library’s experience developing Student Research Day, and (6) recommendations for best practices in planning and executing a successful undergraduate research event.

Key Terms in this Chapter

One-Shot Information Literacy Session: Academic library instruction that occurs during a single session of a course.

Research Aligned Mentorship (RAM) Program: A Farmingdale State College program launched in 2015 through a First in the World FIPSE Grant from the United States Department of Education. Up to 250 first-time, first-year undergraduate students are randomly selected for this program each year. Students must qualify as low income, be a first-generation college student, or be a member of a historically minoritized community in order to be eligible for a variety of interventions that include first-year seminars, mentored research experiences, and advising and mentoring.

Poster Session: An event, often held during an academic conference, where posters are displayed and simultaneously presented by an individual researcher or group of researchers. Posters typically combine text and graphics to efficiently communicate research, and presenters answer questions posed by passing colleagues.

Embedded Lite Instruction: Academic library instruction that is taught over multiple class sessions, providing more librarian involvement than a single one-shot instruction session, but less in-course participation than a traditional embedded librarianship program.

Undergraduate Research Conference: A research event featuring oral presentations, poster presentations, and/or artistic expressions by undergraduate college and university students.

Embedded Librarianship: The act of incorporating academic librarians into courses on a recurring basis. Librarian course-based involvement typically includes, but is not limited to, teaching multiple information literacy sessions, collaborating with faculty to develop course content, holding office hours, designing research skills assessments, participating in discussion forums, and building relationships with faculty and students through activities such as attending classes and departmental events.

Students First Campus Grant: Internal, peer-reviewed grants available through Farmingdale State College aimed at enhancing classroom teaching, applied learning, co-curricular activities, and assessment. This program began in 2011 with funding from a Title III “Strengthening Institutions” Grant from the U.S. Department of Education and now continues with support from the College’s Provost's Office.

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