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President's Desk

President’s Column: Research, results, rewards

May 3, 2024

On Tuesday, April 30, we were treated to an exceptional display of student research projects and proposals in the Robinson Center for the Arts. The organization of the day was led by Dr. Emily Wicktor, and this year’s symposium was filled with an impressive array of work! President Alan D. LaFave

The research process involves engaging in inquiry above and beyond the activities of a typical lecture class. This year’s symposium provided more than 55 undergraduate students with the opportunity to showcase their research, writing, and other creative projects. Spanning five departments; Art, Business, Computer Systems and Software Engineering, Language and Literature, and Kinesiology and Human Performance, the event highlighted a broad representation of academic areas of interest. The presentations were done individually and in groups across 16 unique courses or special university programs.

A small sampling of the projects included:

  • Seasonal Movement of Walleye in Fox Lake, North Dakota
  • Impact of iPads in the Secondary Classroom
  • AI Robotic Surgery: Ethical or Inhumane?
  • Effects of Social Media on Mental Health
  • Ethics and Security of Autonomous Vehicles
  • Artificial Disc Replacement vs. Spinal Fusion
  • Legal and ethical considerations in remote work

Student recipients of the 2023-24 SOAR (Student Opportunities for Academic Research) award and the EPSC0R (Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research) award. Faculty members from the Science, Social Science, and Music departments also presented some of their research related to their disciplines.

A special highlight of the day included an informative and thought-provoking presentation from NDUS Chancellor Mark Hagerott entitled, “Living and Working with Intelligent Machines: Suggesting a Way Ahead” in conjunction with the VCSU Scholar Symposium. Chancellor Hagerott’s commitment to advancing issues impacting higher education is well-informed and greatly appreciated.

Research is alive and well at VCSU! We thank and congratulate all who participated. Special thanks to the faculty who mentored and supported the students in these efforts.

Finally, I’d like to express deep appreciation to all who participated and supported the VCSU Scholarship Auction on April 29, 2024. The event raised more than $125,000 which will directly support and enhance student scholarships. We are very fortunate to live and work in a community that is so supportive of our campus! Thank you to all alumni, friends and patrons, faculty, staff, and students for your participation!

Go Vikings!