For any students or faculty interested in learning more about what students in mathematics and science courses have been working on this semester, the college’s first ever joint Science and Math Poster Symposium is the event to attend.
The organizers of the event are Physical Sciences Chair and Professor of Chemistry Dr. Lori Slavin and Professor of Mathematics Brenda Edmonds. The professors hope the participants gain confidence while learning from the other contributors.
“The biggest goal is giving the students some experience and confidence with a presentation that isn’t quite as intimidating as a huge audience, and hopefully they feel some confidence after the symposium to submit their work to a larger platform,” Edmonds said.
Most science and math symposiums take place at four-year universities, making the premiere symposium an impressive event at the college.
“People typically don’t associate undergraduate research being done at a community college,” Slavin said. “Faculty are engaged with students doing authentic research here at JCCC. We would like to showcase what our students and faculty are doing.”
The initial idea for the event came from Slavin’s prior work with Edmonds and the two thought it would be an opportunity to bring science and math together at the college. Both Slavin and Edmonds had similar experiences during their education as women in their respective fields.
Slavin and Edmonds, while now esteemed members of their departments, expressed women were underrepresented in the teaching force during their educations.
“I really did not have a female professor in science until graduate school and only one at that,” Slavin said. “When I got my first job in a tenure track position at a university I was the first full time woman hired in that department. That’s when I realized there was a niche to be filled in mentoring young women pursuing a major or career in science and math.”
Edmonds had a similar experience in not having a female math professor until graduate school and believes the best advice she can give any student male or female is to be open to guidance.
“Seek a mentor or find a woman in the field whether it’s a professor here or somebody who is working in a career you’re interested in,” Edmonds said. “I think women would love to mentor other women coming into the field and I would give that advice to any student.”
Other math and science professors will jury the symposium and each submission digitally preserved.
“Every submission will have one to two minutes to tell the film crew about their poster and we’ll have it archived on the website in the Scholar Space,” Slavin said. “We are excited to host an event like this and we want to keep it growing for years.”
There are currently 74 submissions that include work from individual students, partners and even full classes collaborating on projects. The college will host the symposium on April 28 from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. in the CoLab.