Faculty share achievements

Posted Dec. 1, 2006

Tables with display boards, pamphlets, books, formulas and much more stretched the length of the library for Faculty Research Day on Nov. 16.

It would have been impossible to take in all the information provided in the short period of time allotted from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Depending on which display you stopped at you could spend all day trying to absorb all of the different types of research provided.

“It really is amazing, the professors put in so much time and effort with their students, and then they do all of this elaborate research on top of it,” said Melinda Fairman, a sophomore biology major.

The usually silent Wilson Library was filled with mumbles of explanations and questions surrounding the research.

The majority of the people who walked around the library were faculty.

An occasional student would stop to examine the work displayed from his or her department of study.

The event turned out to be an opportunity for faculty to assess and appreciate one another’s work.

Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs Al Clark and Administrative Assistant Bianca Hunter spent more than four weeks organizing the event.

As Clark approached faculty to participate, he was met with minor oppositions.

Clark said that the time commitment to the event makes it difficult for faculty to attend.

Several of the faculty members have class scheduled during the time of the event; because of this, their work was displayed and faculty would pop in and out as they had time.

Clark felt strongly about encouraging faculty to continue in their research.

“Research is what keeps people moving and keeps people thinking,” Clark said. “It keeps what they are teaching current because they are creating the currency.”

Assistant Professor of Biology Jerome Garcia took the time to explain his research on Parkinson’s disease to Fairman.

He used the opportunity to relate his research to a current topic they covered in class and teach her something new.

This further illustrated the fact that these professors do what they do to, not only to further their knowledge, but to increase their students’ learning as well.

“They are not just here as teachers, they are educators. They focus on staying current in their field to bring the best to their students,” Fairman said.

Sophomore biology major Jessica Bercaw was going to the library to study when she saw the sign advertising the event.

“I didn’t know that it was even taking place, but I was really glad I got to see everything that the professors do,” Bercaw said. “It takes everything that we sit in class and learn and applies it to the real world.”

Topics as diverse as Parkinson’s disease to the 1938 “War of the Worlds” radio broadcast and Aboriginal filmmaking were presented at the event.

Several of the displays had to do with things that the professors were passionate about, but not necessarily related to a course they are currently teaching. By doing this research they are enriching themselves by expanding their knowledge of their field.

“As long as something in your life is intellectual beyond the classroom you have done something wonderful for your life,” Clark said.

Jillian Peña can be reached at jpena2@ulv.edu.

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