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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Student Showcase extends deadline to attract broader range of applicants

    The application deadline for Student Showcase has been extended for the second year in a row because organizers want the event to be more competitive, a Graduate and Professional Student Council official said.

    The original Student Showcase application deadline passed Friday with 110 student applicants, said Amanda Brobbel, GPSC events coordinator.

    Although that’s more applications than GPSC received in early October last year, it’s still not enough, Brobbel said.

    Every year during Homecoming, GPSC hosts the event to exhibit UA undergraduate and graduate scholarship from a wide array of academic fields, according to the GPSC Web site.

    Last year, 126 applications came in, but only after GPSC extended the deadline, Brobbel said.

    However, of the 126 students who submitted applications last year, only 111 actually presented during the Homecoming event, according the GPSC Web site.

    Brobbel said GPSC had to cut the number of presenters due to a lack of physical space for the showcase.

    “”Last year, with 126 was very, very tight,”” she said.

    Varada Datar, a molecular and cellular biology and chemistry senior, said the exhibits were close together last year, and it is compounded by the fact that the UA Mall is already crowded for Homecoming festivities.

    However, Datar said it was not unduly cramped.

    But while some categories lack in applicants, others have too many, such as biosciences, Brobbel said.

    GPSC has no control over switching to a larger space because the Alumni Association chooses the spaces, Brobbel said.

    “”It’s not something we can really effect,”” Brobbel said. “”They’re trying to appeal to the widest possible audience, which is what homecoming is about.””

    The deadline has been extended for one week in categories that have too few applicants. To be competitive, each category should have four undergraduates and graduates, Brobbel said.

    In the visual and performing arts category, application numbers are up, with three undergraduates and three graduate students. Last year, even with the deadline extension, there were only two each, Brobbel said.

    Despite increased numbers, the deadline has been extended for the visual and performing arts category for both graduates and undergraduates, Brobbel said.

    The visual arts category is traditionally not well-represented, possibly due to the nature of their projects, Brobbel said.

    “”Their research is not the same (as in other categories),”” Brobbel said.

    The visual arts applications include students who want to display their paintings, photography projects and one application regarding the mechanics of theatre arts.

    In addition, an applicant wants to have his choreography project performed live by a dance group in the showcase presentation area, on the Mall in front of the library, Brobbel said. However, space is tight, Brobbel added.

    Other categories with extended deadlines include public health, humanities, literature and languages, education and business, public administration and economics, Brobbel said. Each of these categories still needs both graduate and undergraduate applicants.

    The architecture, planning and landscape architecture category also had its deadline extended for undergraduates because one student applied, Brobbel said.

    Graduate student applications in that category tripled from 2005, she said.

    “”The main reason is we had some professors who are on the Faculty Senate who are very dedicated,”” she said, referring to architecture faculty who wanted more students to present work.

    Mikhal Gold, a molecular and cellular biology senior entering the showcase for the third year in a row, said everyone participating in Student Showcase does great research.

    “”It’s about presenting it in a way that makes people care about what you’re doing,”” Gold said. “”I think it’s a great opportunity for students to compile the work they’ve done through the school year and showcase it to their peers and faculty.””

    It may present ideas to students who are unsure of their field of study or who are considering research themselves, said Gold, who won the showcase’s top prize two years in a row.

    Datar, who won second place in biological sciences last fall, said it is good to get the kind of exposure the showcase offers, presenting to peers and community members alike.

    First and second prize winners in each category receive $250 and $125, respectively, Brobbel said.

    There are a total of 55 prizes, totaling $11,125, available for the showcase, Brobbel said.

    The UA President’s Award for Excellence is the largest, with two prizes of $500 each for one undergraduate project and one graduate project, Brobbel said.

    Student Showcase will be on display during Homecoming weekend, Nov. 10 and 11.

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