Research colloquiums are dedicated to seniors who are majoring in biology-related fields, such as Molecular Biology; Environmental and Field Biology; and General Biology majors, to present their respective summer capstone internships to others. This year the colloquium was on Monday, November 15 from 5 to 8pm, held in-person in the science building, and visitors were able to be present. There were two different oral presentation sessions and in between the two sessions was a poster presentation session.
As a Molecular Biology major myself, I decided to go see what I had to look forward to within the next two years. In the individual presentation, there were some seniors who presented various case studies, such as ‘Childhood Neglect’ by Megan Jauss and ‘Fall Risk and Prevention in Nursing Homes’ by Cassie Vogel. And there were other seniors who presented about their research they had done, such as ‘Annotation of bru3 in Drosophila ananassae’ by Colin Maguire and ‘Annotation of the connector enhancer of ksr in D. arizonae’ by Victoria Ramage.
During the first round of presentations, I found myself nervous for what is to come, because I will be in the same position as the capstone students were in this year. While listening to some of the questions posed by professors and trying to answer them myself throughout the colloquium, I had a tough time trying to come up with possible responses even though many of the presentations were in my field of study.
After the colloquium, I talked to various seniors regarding how they prepared for this day, how they think their presentation(s) went, and what is their advice to upcoming seniors regarding the colloquium. Here’s what they had to say:
Victoria Ramage, a senior molecular biology and psychology major, said “In preparation, I wrote down notes and rehearsed them prior to the presentation. I also practiced presenting to my advisor and capstone group. I was iffy on preparing for the colloquium but I thought my presentation went well. My advice would be practice is important and having friends in capstone will make things less stressful.”
Kathleen Tran, a senior molecular biology and pre-med major, said “I dedicated the majority of my time to the colloquium for two weeks straight and had some of my capstone group look over my slides and poster numerous times. After I gave both my poster and oral presentations I thought it went pretty well. My advice to upcoming seniors is that it is okay to do things at the last minute and it is normal to be nervous and stressed out but it will be over soon.”
The research colloquium is for undergraduate students to get a glimpse of grad school expectations. Many of the capstone students expressed an exorbitant amount of stress and how burnt out they seemed. As a student who only attended the colloquium to observe, I would say it is a daunting task that lies ahead for all incoming seniors to work on next year.