Graduate Studies Research Symposium goes online

December 2, 2020

Zoom meetingOn Nov. 17 and 19, more than 130 graduate students, professors and community members attended the Graduate Studies Research Symposium, a two-day event that serves as a platform for graduate students in the Dreeben School of Education to showcase and share scholarly research and activities. This year’s theme “University Community Engagement in Times of COVID-19" highlighted faculty, students and community engagement, struggles and solutions in the COVID-19 pandemic.

The annual symposium consisted of two events this year, a World Café and a Poster presentation. The World Café event on Nov. 17 offered students an opportunity to gather in a virtual conversation to generate knowledge and share new ideas. Denise Staudt, Ed.D., dean of the Dreeben School of Education, welcomed participants to the event. Alfredo Ortiz Aragón, Ph.D., associate professor of Graduate Studies, facilitated the event which encouraged meaningful interactions among students grappling with the overall question “What are we learning from our community engagement in times of COVID-19?” Posters presented by students on Nov. 19 included literature reviews, proposals and completed research.

Planning for the symposium this year looked different from a traditional in-person event.

“This was our first totally virtual Graduate Studies Symposium, and it went surprisingly well, given the unknowns we were facing with logistics and technology. The student presenters were prepared, faculty were supportive and involved in each aspect of the planning to ensure a successful symposium, and the graduate studies student community was engaged and inspired meaningful dialog,” said Norman St. Clair, Ph.D., professor and director of Graduate Studies.

“Although we met via Zoom, students were engaged and interactive throughout the symposium and they were very responsive to questions asked by the moderator, using the chat box to respond. This allowed them to share their thoughts with everyone on Zoom, which is something different from last year,” said Dr. Sandra Guzman-Foster, associate professor of Graduate Studies. “Student participation was great. Students provided interactive and engaging research presentations.”

Sixteen posters were presented by students at the annual poster presentations session. Keynote Speaker Mariannella D. Nuñez, Ph.D., visiting assistant professor of Teacher Education, presented “Amplifying Community Stories” to kick-off the event. Participants attended four rounds of ten minutes to learn about various research topics. They chose which virtual breakout room to attend before switching to another virtual room to meet new presenters. Dr. St. Clair facilitated the event and Dr. Guzman-Foster shared closing remarks.

The poster presenters included:

  • Amy Migura, Ann Lee and Marc Gilbert - Opening a Space for Support and Collaboration in PhD Programs
  • Ashley Click - A quantitative study analyzing the impact of COVID-19 on San Antonio Community College face-to-face courses success and retention
  • Brooke Vasquez - Walking in Their Shoes: A Qualitative Interpretive Study to Explore High School Teachers’ Experiences Utilizing Hy-Flex Instructional Modalities During the COVID-19 Pandemic
  • Ciji Couvetier, Yesenia Alcala & Alexander Ortiz - Homelessness During COVID-19 in San Antonio, Texas
  • Cindy Peña, Jessica M. Quintero and Sonia Rey López - Adapting a New Research Method During the COVID-19 Pandemic
  • Ksenija Kraic - The Role of Motivation among Employees Conducting Repetitive Work Tasks
  • Marcus Seels - Organizational Infrastructure: Improving university sustainability, application of aesthetics
  • Melinda Perez - Financial Literacy Among Lantinx Women in the United States
  • Monica Baietti - Big Data Analytics: Literature Review
  • Nicole Dickson - How Does an All-Girls Robotics Team Increase Girls’ Interest in Engineering?
  • Pamela McCray - Ethical Training and Millennials’ Moral Decision Making
  • Patricia Williams - A Literature Review of How Restorative Justice Can Shape Sexual Misconduct Cases
  • Rey Lopez, Glenna R. Bruun and Cindy Peña - COVID-19: Implications of Mandatory Online Teaching During a Pandemic Round 2 Title of Presentation
  • Robert Greener - U.S. Army Physician Assistant Retention
  • Virginia Mata - A Broad-based Community Organizing Response to COVID-19; A Participatory Action Research Project
  • William Anthony - Exploring International Students’ Experiences and Attitudes Towards Exclusionary Policies in the United States

“Each event hosted over 65 participants, which demonstrated our students’ dedication and enthusiasm about their studies and research. I offer my congratulations and appreciation to the Graduate Studies community and look forward to our next research event,” said Dr. St. Clair.

The Graduate Studies Department in the Dreeben School of Education at the University of the Incarnate Word readies students to become scholarly researchers, educators and leaders that are fully prepared to affect positive change in global, organizational and community settings.

Special thanks to the entire faculty and staff of the Graduate Studies Department for organizing the symposium.