Registration opens for Student Scholars Day

GVL / Kasey Garvelink - Students took notes while attending the Student Scholars Day keynote Lecture presented by Dr. David Wineland on Wednesday, Apr. 13, 2016 in Allendale.

Kasey Garvelink

GVL / Kasey Garvelink – Students took notes while attending the Student Scholars Day keynote Lecture presented by Dr. David Wineland on Wednesday, Apr. 13, 2016 in Allendale.

Dylan Grosser

Registration is now open to sign up for Student Scholars Day, an annual event where students showcase their scholarly or creative works to the community. The final day to register is Friday, Feb. 24.

Undergraduate and graduate students can submit their work to the event and have it showcased in multiple exhibits at Grand Valley State University Wednesday, April 12.

Posters, films, oral presentations, panels, discussions, live performances, music and art exhibits are all part of Student Scholars Day. Almost all work submitted is shown at the event, as long as a student has a faculty member to sign off on it.

“It’s a wonderful way to remind everyone to look at all this great work people did this year,” said Shelley Sickrey, assistant in the Office of Undergraduate Research and Scholarship. “It’s a celebration of our students and of GVSU.”

Alice Chapman, associate professor of history at GVSU, sits on the committee for Student Scholars Day.

“It’s a really wonderful time for students to showcase their academic research that they undertake with a professor or mentor,” Chapman said. “It’s a terrific opportunity that most undergraduates don’t get.”

While only students are allowed to submit work to the event, anyone is allowed to come and visit the multiple exhibits and observe or participate in the works.

Last year, 573 students helped give 358 unique presentations during Student Scholars Day, along with 191 faculty mentors who participated in the event as well.

Sickrey said the event helps students who participate get accepted into graduate school and establish connections.

“One thing that’s really special about student scholars day is that it gives them an opportunity to showcase their scholarship,” Sickrey said.

Chapman said there are other benefits students receive for participating in the event as well.

“It builds confidence in your skills that will help prepare you for graduate school,” Chapman said. “(The event) endows you with confidence to be able to demonstrate your skills, not only as a student but as a scholar.”

Sickrey said the feedback students get after presenting their work helps them do better on future works, and it’s a resume builder.

“I think that being able to talk about your work helps you understand it more,” Sickrey said. “What I think is really great is when students are like ‘I know more about this than I thought I did’ after presenting.”

Chapman said there is a “student-teacher model” being presented during the event, where the student gets to teach.

“My favorite thing is to walk around the posters and talk to the students and hear what they’ve discovered, and they show me what their work is like,” Chapman said. “That’s why we’re professors—because we love to learn.”

This year’s keynote speaker for Student Scholars Day will be Liliana M. Dávalos, a professor of conservation biology at Stony Brook University. Dávalos will speak about biodiversity and her interest in conserving ecosystems at 7 p.m. in the Kirkhof Center Pere Marquette Room.

“We like to have speakers to speak to how important it is for undergraduates to work with faculty as soon as possible,” Sickrey said.

Presentations will be held in the Kirkhof Center, the Henry Hall Atrium, the Mary Idema Pew Library Learning and Information Commons and Lake Ontario Hall.

For more information about Student Scholars Day, visit