Jennifer Herrick, who will graduate next month with a bachelor's degree in communication studies, did more than crack textbooks and attend lectures during her time at Ohio University. Last year, the Honors Tutorial College student conducted research for the university's Central Region Humanities Center on the history of publishing in Ohio between 1800 and 1860. Herrick's work contributed to the center's Pathseeker project, which aims to develop an online, hypermedia research tool for use by humanities scholars and the general public.
Herrick is one of hundreds of Ohio University students who have expanded her education by engaging in research, scholarship or creative work. The University's annual Student Research and Creative Activity Fair, to be held this Thursday from 12:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the rotunda of Walter Hall, will spotlight more than 55 undergraduate, graduate and medical students like Herrick who are involved in original projects ranging in subject from the sciences and engineering to the arts and the humanities. Students who choose to have their projects judged by a panel of faculty experts are eligible to receive a $500 cash prize to aid in their work or a $1,000 stipend towards new graduate studies at Ohio University. Last year, Herrick received an honorable mention award for her Pathseeker project.
"Engagement in research, scholarship and creative activity puts into practice the lessons learned in the classroom," said Jack Bantle, vice president for research at Ohio University and sponsor of the fair. "It shows the student the practical uses of classroom information and motivates them to learn more throughout their lives."
Students who attend the fair can learn more about how to get involved in research and creative activity on campus and receive funding for those projects. The university offers several awards programs to encourage and financially support student research, such as the Student Enhancement Award, which provides up to $6,000 per recipient, or the Provost's Undergraduate Research Fund, which funds dozens of student projects each year.
Herrick, a native of Massillon, Ohio, now plans to use her academic and research experience in a career in politics in Washington, D.C. She encourages other students to become involved with research, scholarship or creative activity for the unique learning experience it can provide.