Thanks to UFV’s Student Research Annual on Thursday, March 31, students will have the rare opportunity to share their research experiences and findings with their peers. This year, the event is taking place at the Roadrunner Café from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Those who have been involved in research or are currently taking part in research projects are encouraged to attend this intimate forum. It offers an encouraging atmosphere to speak with like-minded students and faculty and to gain the necessary skills required for furthering students’ careers in their empirical fields, especially when it comes to graduate studies.
Michelle Mankovits, a psychology major and Student Research Annual participant, is looking forward to the end of the month event. “I am very excited to be given the opportunity to share my research and findings with the psychology faculty and my peers,” she shared. Her research, under the supervision of Dr. Patricia Ackland, is focused on child development. Last semester she had the opportunity to conduct a research study on the Parent-Child Interaction Therapy treatment within the Chilliwack Child and Youth Mental Health organization. She explained: “The therapy is meant to treat severely disruptive and aggressive behaviour in children aged 2-7 by changing unhealthy parent-child relationship styles.”
From this, she was able to determine that the treatment conducted yields positive results, and was also able to offer her own input within the program. As she noted: “I was able to suggest some possible trends and areas of concern within the treatment and its participants.” Students are given the opportunity to either present three minute lectures or set up tables to display posters detailing their projects.
The research department opens a lot of doors for students interested in becoming active in their disciplines, and this event will allow the awareness about these opportunities to grow. “I often hear students saying that there is no research done at UFV,” Michelle said. “That simply isn’t true. There are a lot of directed studies and honours students at our school who complete original research studies as part of their undergraduate education. The student [microlecture] series is an excellent way for us to both share and promote research completed at UFV and to gain valuable experience presenting to our peers.”
Those involved in the UFV community are well aware of the career opportunities that are open to students, but information about graduate studies is not very well-advertised. For those who want to expand their disciplinary knowledge and dive further into the world of academia, the skills needed to become a successful graduate program candidate are often not developed in regular classroom settings. “Opportunities such as directed studies and Honours programmes – and the ability to then present research – give UFV students the knowledge and experience needed to be considered competitive candidates when applying for graduate programs.” Those who are interested in further studies need to be aware of the high expectations involved in applications. According to Michelle, “entrance into graduate programs is extremely competitive and the bar is set far beyond simply having a high GPA.”
Those interested in either participating in or attending the event are highly encouraged to do so. Students interested in participating can get in contact with their professors or research supervisors.