On April 11, Temple University held its annual Symposium for Undergraduate Research and Creativity (formerly known as TURF-CreWS), an event where students are given the opportunity to present their original research and creative work to colleagues, faculty, family and friends.
The symposium consisted of four sessions with six panels running concurrently during each session. Panel topics ranged from sports and society, to humanitarian crises and economics, all the way to histories of gender in cross-cultural perspectives.
Every college at Temple was represented among those presenting, including 17 Klein College students.
One of these students was Amanda Morrison, a junior double major in strategic communication and global studies. Her research analyzed the impact of the #MeToo movement in different industries and the rhetoric surrounding the movement.
"The opportunity to present at a conference helps hone students' research and presentation skills, which is absolutely a necessity for the working world and moving forward to a future career," Morrison said. "I also think that personally, it has really helped me build connections with other students and even faculty."
Morrison has presented in other conferences before, but this was the first time she presented research developed in a Klein College class.
"I was really interested in branching out and expanding my opportunities and my academic vocabulary from the political science and global studies arena to also communications and rhetoric," Morrison said.
Another Klein College student who presented at the symposium was sophomore Rachel Berson, a double major in communication studies and political science. Her research analyzed the efficacy of an argument made by a viral video depicting Richard Spencer, the founder of the alt-right movement in America, getting punched. In the week prior to Temple's symposium, she presented her research at DePauw University.
Berson said that after attending the conference as a freshman, she was blown away by the excellence and originality of the research being presented, especially students who were sophomores or freshmen like her.
"Being able to work with people who are so dedicated and committed to research and have such interesting and original ideas and are good at articulating them is amazing," Berson said. "To be part of this program and to be sitting next to them on a panel is incredible."
Beyond presenting research, the symposium is a chance for students to consider where they might take their interests after college. Morrison said that it's helped her reconsider going into research and academia after graduating, instead of her original plans for law school. Berson added that it gives students a chance to stand out beyond their regular coursework.
"In the process of going to college and taking classes, it's hard to remember what you're passionate about, so doing research and engaging on a topic that matters to you is a really good way to remind yourself why you're here," Berson said.