As the school year comes to an end, students are fully engulfed in school work and final projects. While this time might be dreadful for some, for a certain group of students it will be an opportunity to show the UP community their extensive research projects that they have worked on all year long with the Public Research Fellows (PRF).
Thursday, April 21, this year’s PRF groups, College After COVID, Table Talk and LoosenUP, are hosting a showcase in Franz Hall from 5-7 p.m. where they will display their projects as well as have locally-produced food and drink, live music, visual art and the premiere of a student-produced documentary film.
“Academic conferences can get kind of stale in terms of the format,” English Professor and Co-Founder of PRF Jen McDaneld said. “I think having this convivial open house style showcase where students can dabble in each project will make it really dynamic. There's something about that that feels refreshing and kind of intellectually stimulating at the same time.”
PRF is a public humanities program on campus that connects undergraduates and faculty to build public-facing research projects. Unlike other traditional research models, PRF pushes to examine humanities-related topics and create research projects with a focus on accessibility for the general public.
Junior Trini Sepulveda, who is a part of Table Talk, is excited for community members to learn and experience what the PRF groups have been working towards all year.
“Our project is not something that you often see,” Sepulveda said. “We don't often see stuff about the community from around us. It has been like looking into a spiderweb and seeing all the connection points and I'm really excited for people to learn what we learned during this process.”
While this time in the year is stressful for many, McDaneld thinks that the event will be a refreshing break from the end of the year bubble students may feel trapped in.
“Take a break from your final, take a break from your grading, or whatever it may be depending on your role,” McDaneld said. “ It may be energizing to come see what outcomes and ideas this kind of research can produce. Each of the projects are produced primarily from students and I think that that's meaningful, and it just makes everything a little bit more interesting.”
More information on the Public Research Fellows can be found here.
Kimberly Cortez is a reporter for The Beacon. She can be reached at email@example.com.