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April 12, 2013
CONTACT: K.E. Schwab

SRU Research Symposium draws 100s

HARRISBURG, Pa. -There was an explosion of academics on campus Tuesday when more than 100 students joined faculty and staff to present 72 projects at the 2013 Symposium for Student Research, Scholarship and Creative Achievement.

Philip Tramdack, director of Bailey Library, organized the annual event, which is the highpoint of academic presentations at the University. "We had wonderful participation this year. The event again allowed us to showcase the large number and the high caliber of faculty/staff and student research projects under way on campus."

The Smith Student Center hosted the event.

"They truly ran the gamut from serious scientific undertakings to projects in art, dance, music and theater. Projects in biology, chemistry, special education, community, psychology, physics, physical education, physical therapy, computer science, geology, geography and the environment, sport management and a number of education areas were represented," he said.

"The presentations were terrific and very educational. They also showed the high quality of research under way on campus within the academic community," Tramdack said.

"Since I am new to the campus, and this was my first symposium, I have to say I was truly impressed. Since arriving, I have been told about the extent of faculty/staff-student research on campus and have heard particulars about several of the projects that were under way, but to see the large number of students involved was very remarkable," said Philip Way, SRU provost and vice president for academic affairs.

"I certainly think students who attended the symposium as observers were inspired to begin thinking of how they might become involved in similar projects in the coming years. I also think some students who may have had a minor role in some aspects of the research this year will now step up to undertake their own research projects or expand on the current research with the help of our faculty and staff," he said.

"I also want to thank the faculty and staff involved in these research efforts. Their work with students on some very detailed and very important research is exciting. I truly commend everyone involved. This is a really extraordinary program and a great way to learn about the campus academic climate," Way said.

Tramdack said the symposium has also been instrumental in building bonds, friendship and academic relationships between students and faculty.

"We know that by involving students in campus and campus activities they tend to remain students and, in fact, develop better study habits. Our student retention numbers have grown steadily since we began the symposium program, and, of course, with greater retention, there is a higher graduation rate, which we know is very important to the intellectual growth of the entire state."

"Our goal is to provide any Slippery Rock University student who wishes to work closely with a faculty member in a research, scholarly or creative experience the opportunity to do so," he said. "We have often found that a student takes up a research project in their major, but sometimes they select a topic that they are just interested in and want to explore."

This year's symposium included 31 poster sessions, 26 oral presentations and seven exhibits and seven performances.

Tramdack thanked those who worked behind-the-scenes, including those who dealt with specific projects and research efforts, and those who encouraged students to engage in the process.

SRU's symposium initiative was launched in 2000.

Abstracts of projects presented at the symposium are published in "The Journal of Scholarly Endeavor," which is available online at:

Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.