Faculty Research Day
Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013
MultiPurpose Room of the Student Center
from 11:00am until 2:00pm.
Question: What is Faculty Research Day?
Answer: A new event in the fall of every year to put the spotlight on the research / performance profiles and achievements of a broad spectrum of individual faculty members and the methods of their disciplines/departments. Also, the event can be a teaching tool
(see below for ideas on class assignments).
Fact: Hofstra’s very active and accomplished faculty perform advanced work – research in the broadest sense – across many different disciplines and their work gets recognized by presentation, publication, citation, professional acknowledgements and awards.
Problem: Students and even fellow faculty are generally not aware of the range, variety and nature of all that research going on, and it’s fascinating and useful for all of us to learn what our colleagues behind the scene, beyond the committee or casual contact, as professionals.
Audience: Primarily students at all levels, especially first-year students, who are the least familiar with 1) the range of disciplines and possibilities at the university, and 2) with the nature and depth of research (in the broadest sense) by individual faculty members, and 3) with the methods of different fields that they might still choose to pursue as a major or a minor. More advanced students will be able to envisage future work in a field and discuss research with faculty they might not know otherwise. Faculty will meet each other in terms of professional activity and forge connections that might be productive professionally in terms of teaching or research.
Format: Faculty members present their research accomplishments, past and present, completed and ongoing, in poster form (36”H x 48”W) for discussion. Posters can show book covers, images of research topics and activities, exemplary excerpts of analysis, graphs, critical reviews of work, problem statements and responses – in short, anything that conveys the adventure of discovery and methods of the field in a vivid, engaging way to promote discussion! A poster cannot be all-encompassing: faculty can supplement with a laptop slideshow of images, copies of excerpts, offprints, or other take-away examples of that kind of research or performance.
Benefits: Students meet faculty, browse major and minor fields, and get an insight into how a discipline works and what is possible in a field, and how it relates to other possibilities in that discipline and beyond. They also realize what faculty do and start to see how it relates to what is taught in the classroom, which is a very different dynamic than in high school. Students can start to envision the kind of work, or career, they might one day want.
First-Year programs (Honors College’s Culture & Expression, the School of University Studies, Writing Studies & Composition) will incorporate assignment incentives to encourage attendance and involvement, but the exposure to research methods and achievements can work for courses at all levels.
Faculty - Presenters engage in selfless self-promotion for the greater good! - and meet students and faculty members they might otherwise never meet, creating interest in and respect for their work, an audience for their expertise.
Departments can put forward their faculty to represent the discipline, recruit potential majors and minors from among undecided first-year students and beyond. Also, more advanced students may want to add a major or minor.
The University elevates its Research profile on campus, and contributes to Undergraduate Research initiatives that increase student retention by increasing student-faculty contact across the disciplines and presenting the possibility of in-depth inquiry into the fundamentals of a discipline. Faculty show themselves as the biggest educational resource on campus.
Faculty Research Day will take place in the MultiPurpose Room of the Student Center from 11:00am until 2:00pm.
Think about integrating Faculty Research Day into your courses!
Ideas for Class Assignments
- Faculty can arrange to meet their students to view and discuss posters together as an on-campus ‘excursion.’
- Students could be asked to each find a poster, speak to presenter, and then present a 3-minute synopsis to the class, a quick profile of a faculty member and her/his research/discipline.
- Faculty can discuss methods of approaching an object of interpretation from perspectives of different disciplines, and send students to FRD.
- Students could write a brief synopsis of a poster of their choice.
- Students could write up their dialogue with a presenter.
- Students could read or ask about the moment of discovery in the research? When was the “Eureka” moment?
- What was biggest obstacle to research? The biggest setback? Challenge? Skeptics?
- Students could interview a presenter about what was left out of the poster: what decisions had to be made, as in any writing, about what to exclude? What was ‘painful’ to omit for whatever reason (too complicated, long, detailed, personal, controversial, etc.).
- Students could ask biographical details of the presenter (not too personal) but when did she/he realize an interest in this general area? Which grad school or training? How did she/he find / define their area and topic?
- Find and rank the top 5 posters in terms of design? How did the presenter decide on that style / format?
- Identify and define 5 central terms or concepts from different posters.
- Make a list of unknown words, terms or concepts from posters.
- Interview other students or faculty about posters that they have studied and found interesting, or about questions they asked.
- What was the most inspiring poster? The most colorful? The most detailed?
- How do the posters represent the skills of composition, editing and organizing an argument economically, i.e. in the confines of a limited space?
- How is a poster like an editorial or a short essay? How is it different?
- How do visuals change the dynamic of an argument?
- Can one critique a poster like an essay, esp. when the ‘author’is present and standing there!?