Students display work at university forum

Roughly 130 University of Miami students gathered Wednesday to present their work at the 11th annual Citizens Board Research and Creativity Forum.

At the event, graduate and undergraduate researchers had the chance to compete for cash prizes and receive feedback from more than 120 faculty judges from across the university.

For graduate researchers, the forum is a chance to get exposure for their research.

Nicole Zahka, a fourth-year psychology graduate student, displayed her work on campus before presenting it at two major psychology conferences. She sees the forum as a valuable chance to feel a sense of community among other researchers from across the university.

“There is so much great research going on at UM,” Zahka said.

Many undergraduates got their first taste the research process the forum.

Patricia Coronado and Diego Saer presented their plans for a flying car as part of their senior design project.

“I think that the students really want this,” said Fellipe Duran, chair of the forum’s student organizing committee. “They feel that this is a great way for them to learn presentation techniques, and at the same time network [in the research community].”

Faculty judges were present to judge the competing projects and to offer feedback and encouragement to student researchers.

“Every student, starting from the undergraduate level, should start doing some research, whatever their interest,” said Dr. Wedad Kassira, a forum judge and research assistant professor at the Miller School of Medicine. “Research should be part of their education. It is not like you need a degree to start.”

As the winning researchers were announced, event organizers noted the heightened significance of research and learning in the wake of the Virginia Tech shootings.

William Green, dean of undergraduate education, commented on the significance of the event.

“Today, unfortunately, is one of those days in which the importance of making the world intelligible.couldn’t be more graphic or poignant.”

James Remeika may be contacted at