ST. GEORGE — Dixie State University hosted its fifth annual Regional Symposium for Research, Innovation and Creativity on campus on Friday.
Faculty, staff, students and the community gathered for a full day to explore a wide range of academic topics ranging from biochemistry to aerial dance.
The purpose of the event was to showcase what goes on at Dixie State outside of the classroom and encourage the community to participate with students and faculty in research and creative projects, event organizer and chair of the chemistry department Rico Del Sesto told St. George News.
“The Symposium is unique in that it brings together a celebration of independent research and creative works from across nearly all academic disciplines into one event,” Del Sesto said over email. “It’s a great introduction and overview of what DSU students are engaged in, and what we could potentially offer to the community.”
This year’s Symposium was the largest in its history, Del Sesto said, almost doubling in size from last year. Attendees heard from keynote speaker Elizabeth Stich, an assistant professor of dance at Dixie State, and saw research presentations from nearly 100 students across various programs and topics of study. After her speech, Stich invited attendees to watch an aerial performance by three of her students, in which they partnered with students from the music program.
The idea behind the performance was to experiment with body movement from a range of different heights, Stich said. Creative research in dance is a lot like academic research, she added during her speech.
“Similar to publishing an article in a research journal, choreographers share their work in concerts, conferences and other peer-reviewed performances,” Stich said. “Creative research in dance values the body as a unique and primary source of knowledge.”
Attendees were also able to see students’ research through presentations and posters later in the day. Students showcased 144 posters detailing projects they had spent the past semester or several semesters studying and creating.
Dental hygiene students Camri Ludvigson and Madison Philips began studying the effects of yoga on dental students and dentists experiencing back and neck pain last September. Ludvigson said that after a year of COVID-19, being able to see projects that other students have been working on and showcase has been a relief.
“We haven’t been out anywhere since COVID,” she said. “So it’s nice to be able to learn about a variety of topics.”
Reetta Saeaeski, a psychology student, presented her research exploring the lack of childcare for students on Dixie State’s campus. She told St. George News that the symposium was a great opportunity not only for research students, but for other students to learn about a variety of topics and opportunities at the university.
“I think this is a great event,” Saeaeski said. “This is a great first step to get yourself out there and presenting your research.”
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