Seven Rivers Undergraduate Research Symposium hosts over 120 students

By Jessica Hartling

Campus Life Assistant Editor

Thirty-nine oral presentations and 56 poster presentations took place on campus on Friday, Nov. 9. This was Viterbo’s 10th annual Seven Rivers Undergraduate Research Symposium.  Viterbo hosts Seven Rivers as a way to acknowledge all the hard work going into research in over thirty disciplines including, alternative medicine, history and political science and psychology.

Roughly 120 students presented their work following the presentation from the keynote speaker: Elizabeth Marquardt who is the director of Center of Marriage and Families at the Institute for American Values in New York City.

Last year, approximately 300 people registered to attend Seven Rivers. This year, the number was closer to 200. “Having a smaller number this year will make the setting a little more intimate. Last year we had some problems with finding enough room for everyone,” Kirsten Gabriel, Viterbo’s academic programs coordinator, told Lumen.

“Since this is my third year as academic programs coordinator, I am starting to focus on the fine tuning of Seven Rivers,” Gabriel said. “No longer is it solely based off expanding the number of attendees and advertising, but it is about making the best experience for all those involved.”

“I hope that freshmen and sophomores will come and use Seven Rivers to learn about research here on campus,” Gabriel said. “After all, most of the research is being done by fellow Viterbo students and faculty. It is a great place for students to learn about different research on campus; students do not realize how lucky they are to have such an event.”

“I attended Seven Rivers today to support my friends. I have multiple people I know who are presenting today; I wanted to see what they are researching as well as other people on campus,” Ryne Baumhover, senior English major from Dubuque, Iowa told Lumen.

Seven Rivers had representation from eight different universities in the tri-state area including UW-La Crosse, UW-Eau Claire, Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, Winona State University, Luther College and University of St. Thomas. Out of the approximate 120 students, Viterbo’s students were the largest group represented at the event with a total of 74 students.

“I did research over the summer, and this was a great way for me to organize my research and talk about it,” Amber Masters, senior biology major with a nutrition minor from Chetek, Wis. told Lumen.

Clarissa Goetzinger, a senior dietetics major from Caledonia, Minn. had a similar response. “The research itself taught me a lot: time management, how to conduct research and how to present your research. Seven Rivers is a great opportunity for me to show everyone what research I have done,” Goetzinger said.

“Our professor was really enthusiastic about having students from UW-Eau Claire come to Seven Rivers,” Kristen Morgan, a senior psychology major from Eau Claire, Wis. who is attending UW-Eau Claire told Lumen

Caitlin Vandre-Schmidt, who is also a senior psychology major studying at UW-Eau Claire from Wausau, Wis. agreed with Morgan’s comments. “We have a research day at UW-Eau Claire, but it is more informal,” Vandre-Schmidt said.

“Seven Rivers is a great way to get your feet wet and open doors for future presentations and conferences” Morgan said.

On campus next semester, Viterbo will showcase campus research as well as work done by graduating seniors on Scholar’s Day.

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