On Wednesday, April 29, 2015, Penn State Wilkes-Barre hosted its first Undergraduate Research Day. The event, which was co-sponsored and supported by the Wilkes-Barre campus and the Penn State University Libraries, consisted of 61 posters created by 107 students, highlighting their research this semester.
Students, faculty and staff gathered in the campus's historic Hayfield House to share, learn and admire the results of their scholarship. The event originated from Penn State Wilkes-Barre faculty, Dr. Renee Rosier (Biology) and Timothy Sichler (Engineering), who organized the event on a smaller scale in 2014 with their students. Rosier and Sichler brought the idea to Nesbitt Library Librarian's Jennie Knies and Megan Mac Gregor who then formed the official committee for the event.
The committee created a website, which served as a resource guide for participating students, highlighting best practices for poster creation and discussing research techniques. Knies and Mac Gregor taught two heavily-attended workshops in the Nesbitt Library, reinforcing the process and techniques for effective poster creation. Fourteen faculty members on campus encouraged their students to participate in the event, representing every discipline on campus (including Biology, Math, Electrical Engineering, English, Information Technology, Rehabilitation and Human Services, and Surveying Engineering).
The winning poster highlighting research centering on improvements to the Wilkes-Barre campus: "Expansion of Penn State Lehman Pond for the Benefit of Students and Wildlife Proposal," by Stephen Jesso and Vanessa Robbins (faculty advisor: Dr. Christyne Berzsenyi, English), took home the first place award. Three honorable mentions were awarded to: "Campus Thoroughfare," by Carlos Candelario, Greg Copelli, Bryan Flynn, Mark Rowe, and Mike Vadas (faculty advisor: Dr. Christyne Berzsenyi, English); "Proposal to Complete/Restore PSU-WB's Fitness Path," by Bryan Whiting (faculty advisor: Dr. Christyne Berzsenyi, English), and "3D Printing of Senior Project satellite," by Jimmy Cosgrove, Mike Gentile, Danny Leighow, and Mike Wright (faculty advisor: Timothy Sichler, Engineering). These posters and an additional 8 top-scoring submissions will be displayed in the Penn State Wilkes-Barre's Nesbitt Library through the end of 2015, and on the Undergraduate Research Day website.
Nesbitt Library Librarian, Jennie Knies explained, "feedback and response to the event has been overwhelmingly positive. Plans are already underway for Undergraduate Research Day 2016."