We are excited to share this guest post from our partners at the Office of Undergraduate Research & Creative Inquiry, written by David Barnes, Program Coordinator.
I began working with the Office of Undergraduate Research & Creative Inquiry (formerly the Undergraduate Research Office) in December 2016. I was hired as the new Events Coordinator and my main role was to coordinate the office’s large-scale events. As such, one of my main responsibilities is to plan The Denman Undergraduate Research Forum. The 2017 Denman Forum was my first experience with the event.
When introducing myself to campus colleagues in the weeks following my arrival, I was met with the same reaction: “What made you take this job?” My answer to that question became clearer as the date (March 29, 2017) drew closer. As a Ohio State alumnus who spend much of my time as an undergraduate student planning events and programs in the Office of Student Life in the mid-2000s, I have grown to love a challenge. I enjoy the energy that surrounds a large scale event like the Denman.
More importantly, while interacting with presenters, advisors, judges, and all of the staff and volunteers who help put together the event, I began to see the unique and positive impact the Denman has on students and the campus community. It is a great privilege to provide students with an opportunity to present their research and academic efforts in an early part of their careers. For many, the Denman is their first stepping stone toward graduate school and academic professions. For many others, the Denman is an excellent practice in skills needed in their careers such as public speaking and presentation skills. What a humbling experience to be a part of students’ journeys in this way.
The Denman Undergraduate Research Forum is an event many in the Ohio State community look forward to each year. While there were a number of changes made in 2017’s event, the tradition of research excellence and Buckeye pride held strong. This year, 679 students and 450 judges gathered at the Recreation and Physical Activity Center (RPAC) to discuss and celebrate the work being done in labs, libraries, and in the field. Approximately 650 research projects were represented, and this was the first year that students were able to give oral presentations in the form of slideshow demonstrations. Judges from our corporate sponsors, who are experts in their fields, traveled far and wide to engage with the campus community and speak with the bright minds and leaders of our future. Likewise, President Drake, as well as Mr. & Mrs. Denman, attended the event to congratulate students and their mentors as part of the research community at Ohio State University.
Planning for next year is already underway and I look forward to what is in store for the future.
To learn more about the resources offered through the Office of Undergraduate Research & Creative Inquiry, visit their website: ugresearch.osu.edu.