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CCGA to host symposium on student research
Posted 04/03/2017 10:53AM

By LAUREN MCDONALD lmcdonald@goldenisles.news

College of Coastal Georgia will host a symposium on Monday to showcase the undergraduate research of its students over the past year.

A Symposium on Undergraduate Research and Creative Expression (SOURCE) will be held from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Southeast Georgia Conference Center. The event is open to the public.

The event will highlight the work of more than 130 student participants, including 48 research projects and 125 creative works.

"We've had students presenting research around the country," said Kimberly Kinsey Mannahan, the director of service-learning and undergraduate research at CCGA. "And if we're going to present all around the country, we thought we could present here so people in the community can see the amazing projects our students are doing."

She said this marks the second year CCGA has hosted the symposium, which celebrates how CCGA's students have contributed to their fields of study in meaningful ways.

Deah Quinlivan, a professor from Florida Southern College, will be the event's keynote speaker. She will talk about her experience with undergraduate research.

CCGA recently started a fellowship program that allows students to apply for scholarships to fund independent projects they complete with the help of faculty mentors.

"It's an incredible opportunity for our students to be able to apply the skills they're learning and the knowledge they're gaining," Mannahan said.

The symposium will include poster presentations, oral presentations and creative expression readings.

Tracy Pellett, provost and vice president for academic affairs at CCGA, said the symposium will offer the community a chance to see student research that directly relates to this area.

"This is a great event to learn about a lot of different subject areas. ... What's really neat is it's applied learning about things that are important to the community — ecology, coastal ecology, education, health care," Pellett said. "All the areas that this community cares about and are most interested in are represented in parts of this symposium."

He said the event's participants have doubled since last year's symposium.

"It's getting these college students to really focus in on solving the problems of tomorrow, today," Pellett said. "They're focused in on these things that are big issues, that they're focusing in on improving this community, this region and frankly the world, by their expansion of knowledge of application of what works best in this particular area."

Mannahan said the undergraduate research initiative at CCGA will further the school's mission to be a college of choice. In June of 2016, CCGA joined the Council on Undergraduate Research, a national organization focused on providing undergraduate research opportunities.

Mannahan said she's proud of what CCGA has achieved in the last couple of years in moving the college toward a culture of undergraduate research, and she expects that work to continue.

"Participating in undergraduate research will enhance the educational experience of our students by providing them with invaluable insight into the research process in their chosen career field, while learning a tremendous amount about who they are and what they want to achieve," she said.

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