Sophomore Nadine Young demonstrates a machine created at EC Makerspace. Researchfest highlighted student work across all disciplines on April 12 in the Triton Room.

On Friday April 12, student researchers gathered in the Triton Room to showcase their research. This was the third student research event to take place on campus in less than two weeks.

Researchfest is an event celebrating the work of student researchers across all disciplines at Eckerd. Unlike the Student Research Symposium and the Humanities Symposium, Researchfest allows student researchers to express their work outside of the traditional poster session or lecture. Though all three events focused on original student led research, Researchfest boasts an opportunity for research in all areas to be presented together.

“This event is all about celebrating students and the space that they are working in, regardless of whether it produces something that is publishable or presentable in its finalized form. This is really about the inspiration behind what they are actually creating and celebrating the process,” Fellowship and Scholarship Advisor Kathleen Robinson said.

Students of all years and varying levels of experience came to Researchfest hoping to inspire others into getting involved with research.

“I chose to participate to share my research and hopefully inspire other students to do something similar,” senior Marissa Bradley said.

Bradley is doing her research on mangrove forests in Indonesia.

Researchfest showcased many different stages in the student research process. First-year human development major Jack Dempsey is in the data collection portion of his research in academic motivation in juniors and seniors.

On the hand junior Trish Schranck presented a completed poster on single use plastics on campus. Schranck, who has presented at other student research events, speaks about the differences of this event. “It’s more about mixed media. It’s not just my poster but my whole setup,” Schranck said.

According to Assistant Dean of Faculty for Academic Special Projects Amanda Hagood, this event isn’t just about the students presenting their work.

“The secondary goal is one of exposure. We really want people to come away from this, particularly our first and second year students with a broad idea of the kind of independent work that you can do here at Eckerd. That could mean working in a lab or writing your own dramatic production or creating a costume,” Hagood said.


Researchfest and the people planning and presenting at the fair did just that. Students walked away with a better understanding of the topics being presented and a greater awareness of research on campus.

“There’s a lot of research going on here on campus on topics I didn’t really expect, such as art, and others on initiatives I see around campus like single use plastics,” first-year Brandon Steele said.

This event was sponsored by Academic Affairs and the College Program Series (CPS).

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