CapU to host first-ever student research symposium

University to showcase graduation projects from four separate faculties on Apr. 22

Justin Scott // Arts and Culture Editor

While many of Capilano University’s programs require students to complete graduation projects in order to receive their degrees, this year’s Student Research Symposium (SRS) will mark the first time many of them are presented together at a single event. Students graduating from the Bachelor of Arts with a major in Applied Behaviour Analysis, Bachelor of Arts with a major in Liberal Studies, Bachelor of Communication Studies, or Bachelor of Early Childhood Care and Education programs will all present their work at the first ever SRS on Saturday, Apr. 22 in rooms LB 321 and 322.

“It’s an opportunity to bring together undergraduates who are in degree programs with a capstone or a thesis component,” said Aurelea Mahood, CapU’s Liberal Studies Degree coordinator and one of the coordinators of the SRS.

A number of programs at CapU require students to complete a thesis or capstone project in order to graduate. While this process is not new, up until now each faculty has overseen this process, including the final presentations of the work on their own. The main goal behind the SRS is to take these presentations out of closed rooms with program-specific audiences and present them to others in the university, as well as members of the general public.

Liberal Studies student Kelsey Silk said that she is both “excited and nervous” for her presentation at this year’s symposium. “I will be presenting an artist’s book I made this term, along with my research on how presentation influences interpretation of written information,” she explained. Silk cited past Liberal Studies grad presentations as an influence for her work. “Watching other people present their research inspired me, and helped me to find my own topic,” she added.

Instead of individual presentations by degree program, the SRS will also divide students into panels based on select research areas. For example, there will be a panel discussing environmental issues that will feature students from both the Communications program as well as the Liberal Studies program.

“We’ve developed a handful of panels that will have Liberal Studies and Communications students on them,” said Mahood. “So instead of keeping everyone in their program, we’re trying to mix it up a little that way so that the program is arranged to thematically.”

She is particularly excited for the opportunity the event provides students to showcase work that they’ve invested a whole semester, if not more, in. “I think there will be a sense for the students that this isn’t something they’ve been doing in isolation, I think there will be this sort of sense of accomplishment,” Mahood expressed with obvious excitement. “I’m hoping there will be a deeper pride and a sense that this is something that we support and encourage here at Capilano.”

Another goal of the event is to bring students and faculty from a number of disciplines together, a sentiment echoed by school president Paul Dangerfield.

“Until now, individual degree programs have hosted their own showcase events independent of one another,” he said.

“The inaugural Student Research Symposium emerges from a deepening commitment to cultivate a university-wide celebration of undergraduate scholarship and research. We anticipate that future symposiums will showcase interdisciplinary collaborations among students and serve as an incubator for new directions and opportunities.”

While the only form of collaboration that will be seen at this year’s event is the student panels, Dangerfield, Mahood and other faculty and students hope that in the future, students from separate programs may be able to conduct research and work together.

“In a way, what we’re trying to do with the student research symposium is to kind of honour the possibilities and what can ferment and grow when you juxtapose different ways of approaching problem-solving or research questions through undergraduate scholarship and see what bubbles out of it,” explained Mahood.

With the Symposium fast approaching, a general schedule is available on the event’s website, with the exact times of certain panels set to be announced online.

For more information on the Student Research Symposium, visit



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