The 34th

Celebrating the exceptional academic work of Eastern Michigan University undergraduate students, the Undergraduate Symposium showcases student research and creative projects. Presentations, completed with faculty mentors, represent all academic disciplines.

Upcoming: the 35th Undergraduate Symposium

Looking for information related to the 2015 Undergraduate Symposium?

The date of the 35th event is Friday, March 27, 2015 at the EMU Student Center with the online nomination process for student participation beginning on November 15, 2014 and continuing through January 15, 2015. Site refresh for 2015 occurs with the opening of the nomination process.

Please continue to use this site as a reference to the event, including abstracts from the 2014 event.

Past: the 34th Undergraduate Symposium

The 2014 program guide is available to view online or download. Click here to view.

Symposium is also available for guidebook on your smart phone or tablet click here to download.
Don't have guidebook? get it here.

For additional information, call or email:
 Wendy Kivi
Event Coordinator

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter @EMUSymposium.

For additional information, call or e-mail:

Wendy Kivi
Event Coordinator
124 Quirk
Harriet Lindsay
Event Chair
501W Mark Jefferson

2014 Planning Committee Members and
Department & School Representatives

Africology and African American StudiesVictor Okaforvokafor@emich.edu7.3460
Art Tom 7.1268
Biology Aaron Liepmanaliepman@emich.edu7.4242
Chemistry Deborah Heyl-Cleggdheylcle@emich.edu7.0106
Communication, Media & Theatre Arts Melanie Schuessler mschuess@emich.edu7.3130
Computer Science Suchindran Maniccamsmaniccam@emich.edu7.1063
Economics James Saunoris jsaunori@emich.edu7.3395
English Language & Literature Bernie Millerbmiller2@emich.edu7.4220
Geography and Geology Norm Tyler ntyler@emich.edu7.0218
History and PhilosophyJesse Kauffman jkauffma@emich.edu7.1018
Mathematics Andrew Rossaross15@emich.edu7.1444
Music and Dance John Dorsey jdorsey@emich.edu7.4380
Physics and Astronomy Patrick Koehnpkoehn@emich.edu7.4144
Political Science Jeff Bernstein jbernstei@emich.edu7.3113
Psychology Tom Waltztwaltz1@emich.edu7.1155
Sociology, Anthropology & Criminology Xianghong Feng xfeng@emich.edu7.0012
Women's and Gender Studies Natalie Dovendove@emich.edu7.1177
World Languages Wendy Wangwwang@emich.edu7.0130
College of Business Kate Elverson kelverso@emich.edu7.2344
College of Education (SE) Jennifer Desiderio jdesider@emich.edu7.7120
College of Education (TE) Martha Baiyee mbaiyee@emich.edu7.3260
College of Health and Human Services (HS, SW) Lynne Shetron-Rama lshetron@emich.edu7.2381
College of Health and Human Services (NURS) Sherry Bumpus Sbumpus2@emich.edu7.2381
College of Health and Human Services (HPHP) Thomas Cieslaktciesla1@emich.edu7.0090
College of Technology (ET) Harvey Lyonshlyons@emich.edu7.2285
College of Technology (TS) Christina Wall cwall1@emich.edu7.2285
CAS Liaison Kate Mehuronkmehuron@emich.edu7.4344
Honors College Representative John Feldkamp jfeldkam@emich.edu7.0341
Design Expo Ken Stevens
John Charles
Ryan Molloy
James Stein
Cathryn Amidei
Event Assistants Amy Bearinger
Josh Parcha

A one-day program to recognize and celebrate the exceptional academic work of EMU undergraduate students.

A collection of research or creative projects that may be:

  • An outstanding research paper, independent study, lab research project, performance, design-based project, or honors thesis.
  • Work may be by single or multiple authors (no more than four authors per presentation).
  • Open to undergraduate students from all colleges and disciplines of the University who have been nominated by a faculty sponsor and recommended by the respective department/school.

Hosted by the College of Arts & Sciences, the Symposium typically involves over 400 student presenters supported by 200 faculty sponsors.

An opportunity for participating students to share the results of their research and creative academic activities in a conference-like format through an oral presentation, poster display or exhibit format.

  • Oral presentations, whether single or multiple authors, are allotted 15 minutes to present during one of four sessions: a brief introduction of the student(s) by the faculty sponsor, a ten-minute presentation of the academic work, and a short question-and-answer period.
  • Poster presentations are displayed during one of two sessions. Each poster session is 2 hours and 10 minutes.
  • The Design Expo demonstrates the outcomes of design-based projects — often interdisciplinary and collaborative in nature — in an exhibit format. The projects on exhibit are open to the public throughout the morning and until 4:00 p.m.

The nomination process:

  • Begins with faculty members identifying students who have achieved exceptional levels of work and notifying the department/school of their intent to nominate.
  • Involves the completion of an online nomination, including a 75-word abstract, begun by the student and supported by the faculty sponsor.
  • Continues with department/school support of completed nominations and abstracts and the forwarding of these to the event’s planning committee.
1981 Envisioned by former Provost Ronald W. Collins, and under the leadership of Ira M. Wheatly of History and Philosophy, the first annual event was held April 3, 1981. 17 students and 19 faculty members from nine College of Arts and Sciences departments were featured.
1982 Luncheon and keynote speaker added to event.
Listing of keynote speakers and student emcees over the years.
1990 Posters displays added.
1992 Participation expanded with students from the College of Education and the College of Technology included.
1993 The College of Business and the College of Health and Human Services nominated students for participation.
1995 Student emcees added to the luncheon program.
1996 Student designers involved in design process.
2000 Office of Financial Aid and the Graduate School began providing up to 20 University Fellowship Awards for Symposium Participants to graduating participants to encourage them to continue their graduate studies at EMU. Dedicated website launched.
2001 The Barry A. Fish Scholarship and the Ronald W Collins Memorial Endowed Scholarship for Undergraduate Symposium Participants endowed to provide financial awards for continued undergraduate studies.
2002 Webcasting of select presentations began with Symposium XXII.
2005 The Symposium proudly celebrated its 25th event. In honor of the event’s longevity, a new scholarship series was announced and the event also provided the opportunity for 25 select Symposium and University alumni to return to campus for the festivities.
2007 The annual event moved to the new EMU Student Center. Genesis, a bronze sculpture by artist and Symposium XXVII keynote speaker Brent Collins, was dedicated and placed on permanent display at the center.
2008 The nominations process was changed to allow only online submissions, thereby streamlining the approval process and making both web and print publication easier.
2010 The Symposium reaches the historic mark of 30 events! Over the past three decades, more than 4,000 students have had the opportunity to share their research in front of their peers, professors University administration, community, and family. We have grown from 17 presenters in the first Symposium to over 300 in 2009!
2012 Challenge advancement goal reached: $1-million in support of the Symposium and especially student scholarship and research awards. Special to this year was the addition of the Design Expo as an exhibit component for student research.