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Students proud of research, creative work at symposium showcase

April 8th, 2012 Posted in Arts and Life, Opinion

By Rhett Wilkinson

LOGAN—By the time College of Humanities and Social Sciences Senator Erika Norton positioned herself between the rest of the college’s student council at USU’s David B. Haight Alumni Center on campus, ready to make announcements for the top recipients at the college’s first Student Research Symposium, my heart—as I expected—certainly lifted.

After spending six months helping develop a student magazine, could I have expected anything less?

My spirits dipped only slightly after hearing that Aggie BluePrint, the online student magazine that has now published three times this semester, took third in both the multimedia and journalism categories. With the recognition came a total of $50 of prize money. First-place awards received $200 in each category, with second and third place taking $50 and $25, respectively. Categories included research, multimedia, creative writing and journalism.

It marked a respectable finish to an event that Norton said CHaSS Dean John Allen “loved” when approached by members of the CHaSS Council with the idea earlier in the year. Kate DuHadway, BluePrint’s editor-in-chief who conceived the magazine, expressed similar enthusiasm for the symposium in helping give student projects a chance to shine.

“The CHaSS Research Symposium was great,” she said. “It was fun to show our work off and to get a little practice in giving presentations. And you can never go wrong with a little prize money. I hope more students take advantage of this in the future.”

When it comes to the present, I couldn’t have been happier to tell curious passersby and judges about what Aggie BluePrint has been doing. With DuHadway and Lindsay Nemelka—the magazine’s web editor who has been in the development meetings since the fall—next to me to offer our video presentation, I was happy to tell others about the deeper stories we’ve been telling, the quirky videos we’ve posted and especially the new look to be unveiled on April 23, complete with rotating event calendars and our own social media page.

I couldn’t stop urging observers to check out our website and our Facebook page and Twitter account. More than anything, it was a pleasure to be there with other students who had done fine jobs on their own projects, which included research of newspapers from the Intermountain West, a photo collage from third-world countries in Africa, and a study of common leadership principles among more than a dozen CEOs and other managers and mentors across the country.

“The council and I were really excited to plan and carry out this student initiative,” said Norton, who plans that the council will organize a similar event next year.

“The goal behind the showcase was to give students more opportunities to present their work. We anticipate that it will continue to grow year after year.”

—JCOM junior Rhett Wilkinson is assistant managing editor of Aggie BluePrint.


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