The portrayal of Muslims in the media, ecotourism in Central America, and the risks of raw food diets were among the topics highlighted at the 8th Annual Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activities Conference (RSCA) at Cal Poly Pomona.
Hosted by the Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR), the March 7 conference attracted more than 700 attendees, including over 400 student presenters, 76 alumni judges and moderators, and 225 faculty, staff, and members of the community who came to support the students’ hard work.
“RSCA celebrates the wide-ranging creative activities, research, and scholarship that showcase the learning-by-doing philosophy of Cal Poly Pomona” said Winny Dong, director of the OUR. “It was wonderful to see so many students from all backgrounds presenting their research and seeing them receive so much support from their family and friends who attended.”
The Poster and Creative Works Showcase displayed 98 student posters and projects on a range of topics, including: the creation of drone camouflage to aid in reconnaissance, a data-study to better organize Yelp Reviews, research on human emotions to help alleviate PTSD, and the testing of new surgery techniques for veterinarians that may decrease wound healing times.
Physics student Giaky Nguyen was part of NASA-sponsored study of star-births in the Milky Way Galaxy. She noted that her research was close to her heart and worth the long nights gathering data.
“I love that there is always new data and research being done [on stars]. You’re on the edge of new discoveries all the time!” Nguyen added.
Caitlin Doherty, a biology student, did research on barn swallow mutation rates in Fukishima Japan. She noted overall how it was valuable collaborating with other students in her lab while doing the research, and learning from her peers during the conference itself. She hopes her study can further research how organisms and populations react to environmental changes.
The 196 oral presentations were given in 26 sessions, with student teams discussing topics such as non-profit organizations and their impacts on homelessness and studies to better understand phenomena such as corrosion behavior and reverse osmosis.
The alumni who moderated these session noted that they enjoyed coming back to Cal Poly Pomona to see the work the students were doing. They said that they enjoyed sharing experiences with the students and helping them connect their research to real-world applications.
Some of the oral presentation sessions were competitive, with the alumni judges choosing which 10 student teams would move on to the CSU System-Wide Student Research Competition originally planned for April 24-25 at CSU East Bay (being reimagined in a digital format due to Covid-19 situation). These student teams were recognized at an awards reception at the end of the RSCA conference. In addition, the 6th annual Distinguished RSCA Staff Award was given to Sandra Guitierrez Magallenez from the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.
Additional photos from RSCA can be found in this photo gallery. RSCA will return next year in 2021.
Until then, the campus community is encouraged to look out for the Scholar Recognition Magazine, which will be launched on April 21 and will recognize exemplary students across different research, creative and innovative programs at Cal Poly Pomona.