Record number of students will participate in SSD

poster presentation with women talking
Student Scholars Day is April 10, a record number of participants are expected. Pictured is the 2018 event.
Image Credit: University Communications

A record number of 793 students will give presentations during the 23rd annual Student Scholars Day on April 10.

Poster and oral presentations, art exhibitions, panel discussions and film screenings will run from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. in the Kirkhof Center, Henry Hall and Mary Idema Pew Library. Campus community members can search online for presentations by disciplines, start times, department mentors or presentation type and build a day's schedule at

Susan Mendoza, director of the Office of Undergraduate Research and Scholarship, said undergraduate research is a tradition at Grand Valley.

"SSD provides a powerful platform for students to share their scholarship with the Grand Valley community," Mendoza said. "This year, a number of interdisciplinary panel and session presentations were submitted with topics ranging from Parkinson’s disease to an analysis of Hollywood film remakes."

Amarri Smallwood is majoring in women, gender, and sexuality studies. Her SSD presentation centers on the 1990s sitcom "Living Single" and how the main characters resisted normalized ideals of gender and sexuality within the show. Smallwood's faculty mentor was Ayana Weekley, associate professor of WGS, who is among 161 faculty mentors to SSD participants.

Smallwood is a Reach and McNair Scholar and conducted research last summer. "I will enjoy participating in Student Scholars Day and I'm glad to have an opportunity to inform people on what I did and why," she said.

Four Grand Valley alumni will participate in a panel discussion during the SSD luncheon, discussing their graduate school experiences and their career paths. They are Isaac Clark, a medical librarian at Western Michigan University's Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine; Jennifer Landino, a post-doctoral fellow in the Cellular, Molecular, and Development Biology Department at the University of Michigan; Zach Madaj, biostatistician for Van Andel Research Institute; and Erika VanDyke, program officer for Grand Rapids Community Foundation.

More information about Student Scholars Day is online at