Student Scholars Day ready for spotlight this week

Student discusses her research with a faculty member
More than 400 GVSU students will participate in the 27th annual Student Scholars Day on Wednesday, April 12,
Image Credit: Valerie Hendrickson

More than 400 Grand Valley students will present their research or projects during the 27th annual Student Scholars Day on April 12 at several locations across the Allendale campus.

Susan Mendoza, director of the Center for Undergraduate Scholar Engagement, said she marvels at the event each year as the event continually evolves along with students’ research and projects.

“What I like about Student Scholars Day is that it is completely different every year,” she said. “It’s almost a snapshot of what is happening on campus.”

One recent example Mendoza pointed out was the amount of research involved with COVID-19 and the study of the virus during the pandemic. This year, another trend she has noticed is more group presentations from professors and their students.

For example, history professor Nora Salas is leading her class into exploring Latino history in Grand Rapids. Her History 315 class, “Latinos: The Forging of Ethnic Identities,” will present its findings on Wednesday.

“Nora's doing a cool thing in the way that she's challenging her students to think about oral histories,” Mendoza said. “It provides a shared work and research where students can connect with one another, not just when they’re doing the research, but also when they’re disseminating or sharing.” 

The breadth and depth of students’ research and projects like the History 315 class are what excites her each year, Mendoza said. 

“It’s creating the space for students to share the cool things that they’ve been studying, researching, performing and designing,” Mendoza said. “Creating that space for them and seeing them and their joy in learning when they actually present, it’s really cool."