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Conference to display student research and creative work projects

The Winter Semester 2015 Research and Creative Works Conference will take place Thursday, April 2 from 4:30-6:30 p.m. at the BYU-Idaho Center basketball courts.

“The Research and Creative Works Conference is a venue for students to present original research and creative or artistic works to peers and expert judges,” according to the R&CW Web page.

The conference is held every semester.

“The conference provides opportunities for students to network with professionals from a wide variety of backgrounds and skill sets,” according to the conference web page.

Jacob Pfleger, the conference manager and a senior studying psychology, said participants must choose a professional mentor to help guide them through their work prior to the conference—a method, he said helps to ensure the highest caliber of work.

“The most important way to prepare for this conference is to work with your mentor,” Pfleger said. “They are professionals in their field, and they will provide crucial advice to make sure you are on track.”

Students may present their work in one of four sections: poster, oral, live or written.

Pfleger said eight judges critique participants and award first, second and third place certificates.

The first place winner will receive a T-shirt and a certificate. The students who place second or third will receive a certificate.

“The main purpose of the conference is to have a venue for people to share their work,” Pfleger said. “It provides opportunities to learn and gain experience.”

Larry Chilton, the associate dean of the Mathematics Department, said the conference started in 2006 and had 30 participants in the fall of that year.

In Fall Semester 2014, there were 576 participants and 84 judges.

Chilton said the conference has grown immensely since its start, and he hopes it will continue in that direction.

“I would encourage all students to attend, especially anyone who is trying to clarify which major is right for them,” Chilton said.

He said juniors and seniors from most majors present their work, which provides a great opportunity for students to see a wide range of what is going on in each major.

“Anyone who either wants a job or wants to go to grad school on graduation should participate,” Chilton said.

Chilton said some of the projects at the conference are sponsored by organizations outside the university, and some of the research students participate because the conference connects to what they will be doing in graduate school.

Anyone can attend or participate for free.

Chilton said the conference is a very relaxed atmosphere.

Some classes require students to present their work publicly, and Chilton said the R&CW is a great place to do that.

Jordan Hunter, program analyst for the conference and a senior studying psychology, said winning an award at the conference looks really good on a resumé.

Hunter said he presented research on a neuro-marketing study the first time he participated in the conference.

He said R&CW was a huge learning experience for him.

Hunter then had the opportunity to display that same study at an even bigger conference in San Francisco, California, for physiological science, giving him the opportunity to work with psychologists from around the world.

“I wish I had come to the Research and Creative Works Conference every semester as a freshman and sophomore when trying to decide my major,” Hunter said.

Hunter said if he had attended the conferences earlier on, he would have seen the work students put in to get their bachelor’s degrees to move toward graduate school.

“More people should know about the conference,” Pfleger said. “It is a wonderful opportunity, especially if students want to go to grad school. It gives them a taste of what it will be like.”

Pfleger said two great resources in preparing for the conference are spending a lot of time with your mentor and visiting the conference’s webpage, byui.edu/rcw.

“I love being a part of the developmental process of the conference,” Pfleger said. “I am also very grateful for the mentors and judges. They provide feedback for students so they can grow from that.”

Chilton said participants will receive feedback on their professionalism so they can better understand how to present themselves and their work at a higher level.

“You don’t have to stay the whole time,” Chilton said. “Come for 15 minutes. It is convenient, and there’s a map that shows the different presentations.”

Hunter said he hopes the conference has a lot of attendees this semester.

“It would be a great date idea,” Hunter said. “A great nerdy date.”

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