Sixth annual Guilford Undergraduate Symposium displays student gusto


Only a small amount of student work is seen outside of the classroom. The Guilford Undergraduate Symposium, started in 2008, is an opportunity for students to showcase this work to a wider audience.

The 6th Annual GUS occurred on Feb. 22 and featured over 100 student participants presenting over 70 different works from a wide variety of academic disciplines. Presentations occurred in two main locations on campus, Duke Memorial Hall and Hege Library, at various times beginning at 10:00 a.m. and ending around 4:00 p.m.

Presenting at GUS is voluntary, so the fact that so many students step up each year to present is astounding. Professors play a part in this by encouraging their students to present.

“Honestly, I probably wouldn’t have presented if I hadn’t been urged to by my professors,” said senior and first-time presenter Will Parshley. “I usually shy away from any voluntary public speaking. But it’s a great way of showing your professors how much you appreciate their classes and the work they require. I think that’s important.”

GUS is also a way for international students to present their unique views on subjects. Fabio Baptista, an international student from Brazil, was presenting at GUS for the first time.

“My first goal was to make sure everybody was understanding me because English is my second language,” Baptista said. “But it was really good. I felt comfortable when they asked me questions, and I was able to give good feedback. What was most important for me was seeing what your colleagues are working on and getting some ideas for other areas of work.”

GUS is also an opportunity for friends to stop in and see what you have been working on in classes.

“It is always nice to see what my friends have been working on or were going to produce,” said senior Psychology Major Philip Hong, who attended Baptista’s presentation. “I was most impressed by the presentations given by my friends who were international students.”

Unfortunately, there are not always enough attendees at GUS.

“The turnout was mediocre,” said Parshley, who presented both a talk and a poster. “I figure much of that was due to classes going on simultaneously. It might make sense to schedule GUS on a Saturday or as its own Academic Events Day. That would probably ensure a better turnout.”

That does not mean that GUS is a waste, however.

“I think that GUS is a means for students and professors to really check out all the awesome work that’s being done in the different departments,” says Parshley. “GUS is sort of a catalyst for interdisciplinary thinking. It is cool to see the mix of perspectives.”

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