Research and creativity aboundent at UM

The UM Research and Creativity Forum presents the opportunity for both graduate and undergraduate students representing all of the departments on campus to display their work and be recognized for their achievements.
“It’s an opportunity for students to showcase their work, whether a scientific research study put together with the help of a faculty member, or a creative work,” Dr. Lydia Barza, interdisciplinary studies program specialist who worked to combine the undergraduate and graduate forums, said.
The Graduate Student Association [GSA] first conceived the idea of a research and creativity forum in 1994 to give graduate students an opportunity to display their research to the UM community. This April, the GSA collaborated with the undergraduate student organization Inquiry: The Research Connection, to create a combined research and creativity forum that would serve the entire student body.
Inquiry is designed to encourage undergraduate students to explore research opportunities and has previously held its own forum for undergraduate students.
Jim Fatzinger, director of graduate enrollment, said the forum is beneficial for both graduates and undergraduates.
“We want to give graduates and undergraduates an opportunity to display their work,” Fatzinger said.
The forum is a consecutive two-day event, with the first day involving the display of the work. On the second day, a banquet is held to honor all the students involved and to award the students for their achievements.
This year, the forum introduced 55 undergraduate abstracts, a 50 percent increase from the year before. These numbers, according to Fatzinger, demonstrate the growing interest in the forum from undergraduate students.
Caroline Caperton,an undergraduate student who participated in the Forum, felt that she gained valuable knowledge while conducting her research and participating in the forum.
“I’m amazed at how diverse the subjects of study are at UM, and just how many students, both graduate and undergraduate, are involved in research at such intensive levels,” she said.