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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
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Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Student Research Week prep begins

Students+discuss+plans+to+finalize+logo+for+Student+Research+Week.
Photo by Cassie Stricker

Students discuss plans to finalize logo for Student Research Week.

Two months in advance, committee members for the nation’s largest student-run university research symposium are already hard at work preparing for the competition.                  
Student Research Week, or SRW, creates a venue for students from every discipline to present their findings in a three-day competition. The competition takes place in March, and this year will mark its 20th anniversary. SRW committee members, in collaboration with the Graduate and Professional Student Council, are expecting to host 1,200 competitors.                 
“Being number one in your class and having a very high GPA are both good things, but there’s no point of that if a student cannot sit down and think creatively,” said Feyi Olalotiti-Lawal, petroleum engineering graduate student and SRW judge coordinator. “That’s something that research does. It helps you ask critical questions. It helps you question standard knowledge.”    
Yashwant Prakash, Bush School graduate student and SRW director, said the 20th year of SRW has brought about new challenges and goals for the SRW Committee to address in their efforts to produce a high-impact learning and enjoyable research experience for all people involved. “Inclusivity” is this year’s running theme, set with the intent to unify students from all academic levels and disciplines in the university.
“Not all research is STEM-focused,” Prakash said. “Not all research looks like a Capstone Project. Not all research looks like a finished dissertation. There are different forms of research. Different disciplines have different kinds of research and … we need to make sure that we are able to get everybody on board and provide an opportunity so that all types of research can be presented.”
According to Venkata Pavan Tej Deevi, Mays graduate student and SRW technology coordinator, there were 800 competitors last year consisting of undergraduate and graduate students who participated in either oral or poster presentations. This year, SRW is expecting 1,200 competitors, and an increase from the 500 judges and few hundred volunteers from the year prior.
“We are requesting that all the colleges not only encourage their students to participate, but also encourage their faculty members to participate as judges and graduate students can judge undergraduates, staff members can judge undergraduates, as long as they have a degree a level above [participants],” Prakash said. “For graduate students, it’s an opportunity to not only compete, but also judge another scholarly work done by an undergraduate.”
Cutting operational costs through recycling, sparking interdisciplinary conversations, increasing program quality and growing participation are among the SRW Committee’s top priorities for 2017, Deevi said.
“We are planning to advertise this year’s motive on the website, so maybe in that way, we can promote eco-friendliness among the participants and through the TAMU campus,” Deevi said.
Along with the process of expanding the program, the 2017 SRW Committee, consisting of nine coordinators, one director and one faculty advisor, is rebranding their website and marketing strategies by practicing recycling, conservation and environmentally friendly methods.
“We are trying to get a permanent logo for SRW so that our marketing material will remain the same,” Prakash said. “Our banners, posters and yard signs that we are purchasing, we are making sure that we are printing generic information that will be applicable for future years so that they could be reused.”
With the combination of the SRW Committee’s efforts and the support of several academic and non-academic departments on campus, SRW 2017 will provide participants with the opportunity to acquire presentation, research and people skills, said Olalotiti-Lawal.
“[SRW] is a valuable tool in meeting the university’s mission of academic research and service excellence,” Prakash said. “As a tier-one research university, we are very proud of this program.”

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