Research Communications

Student Research and Creative Activity Expo seeks participants for May 13 event 

NOTE: Registration Deadline has been extended to Monday, March 28

A wheelchair designed to help disabled athletes shoot basketballs. A political documentary about elections in Ohio. Giant puppets for dance and theater productions. New treatments for patients with type 2 diabetes and pancreatic cancer.

This eclectic mix of projects can be found each year at the Ohio University Student Research and Creative Activity Expo, which will be held Friday, May 13, at the Convocation Center. The annual event, which attracts 600 student participants, is a showcase of the innovative research, scholarship, and creative work produced by Ohio University students.

2011 Student Expo Logo

The Expo is recruiting student participants now through March 28. Undergraduate, graduate and medical students, as well as postdoctoral fellows, from all disciplines and campuses are invited to participate. Projects can be faculty-mentored or independent, and solo or group efforts are welcome. Projects are not required to be fully complete; preliminary work is accepted.

Students can choose to give a 10-minute presentation to a panel of faculty judges and compete for $200 (1st place) and $100 (2nd place) prizes. Students also may register to compete for additional awards from Friends of the Library and University Libraries, Regional Campuses, Edison Biotechnology Institute, Center of Entrepreneurship, Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs, the Appalachian Rural Health Institute and Sigma Xi.

Research Expo
Engineering students design a flying car.

Participating in the Expo is rewarding for students, as this is often the first opportunity for students to compile the results of their research or creative work and present it to a wide audience of students, faculty, staff, the general public, and visiting middle school and high school students. This year, schools from multiple districts have been invited.

“Students can get a real sense of accomplishment,” said Expo organizer Roxanne Malé-Brune. “Engaging in research can allow them to become experts in their fields.”

Aaron Malone, a graduate student in geography, won first prize in the social sciences category last year. The questions and comments he received from judges and visitors helped him refine his research, he says.
“It was a good opportunity to present my work to professors outside of my department and to get a different perspective,” Malone said.

Research Fair
Students can win prize money for presenting their research to a panel of faculty judges.

A growing number of campus units are sponsoring special awards at the Expo.

“It’s a great way for us to show our support for the academic endeavors of the students. It’s also an opportunity for us to remind students that we are always here to help them with this work,” explained Kelly Broughton of the University Libraries, which is a co-sponsor of the 2011 Expo T-shirts worn by the student presenters.

The Student Expo provides a window into what’s possible for students to accomplish outside the classroom. Students realize they can make very real contributions to advance the state of knowledge in their field, said David Wight, director of Edison Biotechnology Institute.

 “Edison Biotechnology Institute gives out awards to provide recognition to the students that work so hard on their research, in addition to their coursework,” he said. “Recognition of the students’ accomplishments is a way to show them that their contributions are valuable and are valued by the faculty they work for.”

Research Expo
Musicians, dancers and other artists present live performances.

The schedule for student participants for the 11th annual Student Research and Creative Activity Expo on Friday, May 13, follows:

7 a.m. to 9 a.m.: Set up
9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.: Judging
11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.: Displays open to the public

Students must enroll by Monday, March 28, online at For more information about the event, please contact Roxanne Malé-Brune at 597-1227 or

The event is sponsored by the Office of the Vice President for Research and Dean of the Graduate College, Office of the President and Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost.

By Milissa Hudepohl