Graduate Expo sheds light on research at BYU

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BYU’s Graduate Student Society (GSS) gave students the opportunity to share their research with the community in BYU’s first Graduate Expo.

Volunteers Brent Hall, Lile Squires, and Dean LeBaron hand out donuts to people attending the expo. (Photo by Sara Bitterman)
Volunteers Brent Hall, Lile Squires, and Dean LeBaron hand out donuts to people attending the expo. (Photo by Sara Bitterman)

Doug Nevers, president of GSS, said graduate expos are common at other universities. He said they wanted to give that option to graduate students at BYU.

“Our goal behind it is to create a venue where the broader BYU community can learn about all the graduate work that’s done on campus,” Nevers said.

According to Nevers, the event had 36 presenters from 28 of the 53 departments on campus that offer graduate programs. Presenters were selected by departments to represent them at the event. Nevers said they hoped the research presented would intrigue undergraduates to look at what kind of options are available to them if they go into a specific field.

At the expo, graduate students had booths where they talked about their research, gave demonstrations and provided interactive activities for people to participate in. Undergraduates enjoyed seeing the research that was being done.

Alissa Mitchell, a freshman from Baltimore, Md., studying graphic design, said she enjoyed the expo because it showed what graduate students are doing with their education.

“I think it (the expo) is a good idea because it inspires younger students and shows how older students are using their education,” Mitchell said.

Graduate students who were presenting enjoyed sharing their research while also seeing what their peers in other departments were doing.

Becca Mansfield shows off her booth with a decorated milk jug used in her study. (Photo by Sara Bitterman)
Becca Mansfield shows off her booth with a decorated milk jug used in her study. (Photo by Sara Bitterman)

Becca Mansfield, a graduate student in the communications disorders program, loved seeing all the different departments being represented and the different research. Mansfield, who presented on her research on children with developmental disabilities, said presenting at this expo was a different experience from the presenting she has done before.

“It’s been pretty tricky to explain research to a broad range of people here rather than at a conference where people are in your discipline,” Mansfield said.

Nanette Lefrandt, VP of events of the GSS, said they hope that the event will be done yearly and at some point will attract an even bigger audience.

“Our big plan is that it will bring other universities to BYU,” Lefrandt said.

For now, though, she is excited about the turnout they had for the event and the opportunity to shine a light on the research graduate students are doing at BYU.

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