News and Events
Seaver College Students Present at the 2012 Southern California Conferences for Undergraduate Research
Each November the Southern California Conferences for Undergraduate Research (SCCUR) holds their cornerstone program—a one-day conference featuring student presentations of scholarly work—on the campus of a college or university in the greater Los Angeles area. Its purpose is to provide a forum for the presentation and discussion of the best research, scholarship, and creative of undergraduates in the region, and thus to encourage excellence in undergraduate achievement.
In keeping with SCCUR's multidisciplinary nature, on November 17, 50 Pepperdine undergraduates presented on topics ranging from history to business to natural science at this year's conference, hosted at the California State University, Channel Islands. The theme: "Channels of Research, Islands of Discovery." The annual event was held on Pepperdine's Malibu campus in 2010.
"In most cases, people associate research with science—and it is science at Pepperdine, very much so—but we also involve students in research in every discipline: history, philosophy, education, art history, and theatre—even students studying languages write papers for the conference," says Constance Fulmer, Blanche E. Seaver Chair in English Literature, who, for years, has mentored students each summer in researching and presenting at the undergraduate research conference.
"[Presenting at the conferences] gives them such a sense of confidence that they've done it, especially if they're interested in pursuing graduate school. Many of them have an opportunity to be published. It's just so exciting."
Distinguished Professor of Biology Stephen Davis agrees, "SCCUR is an excellent introduction to research and creative activity by undergraduates across all disciplines of the Liberal Arts. It is very important for students to explore their aptitude for research, scholarship, and creative activity, regardless of discipline, as it provides evidence of potential for scholarly contributions and strengthens applications to graduate/professional schools and fellowships."
In addition to participating at the SCCUR conference, Seaver undergraduates are given dynamic opportunities throughout the year to participate and engage in interdisciplinary research overseen by a distinguished team of faculty through the Keck undergraduate research program.
Through innovative pedagogical methods, faculty mentors help facilitate a transformative shift in thought, empowering first-year students to pursue their own ideas and make scholarly contributions to their disciplines. The program engages students over four years in original research and scholarship beginning in their first term at Pepperdine, with the overarching goal of developing students as scholars.
"[SCCUR] gives students a second opportunity to share with their colleagues and professors and it's a wonderful companion to their undergraduate research, because they can compare themselves to students from other institutions to see that they measure up," continues Fulmer.
"It's important for Pepperdine to have a presence there so the other universities and their faculty and students can see what a good job we're doing. And we do stand out."
The Southern California Conference for Undergraduate Research provides a forum for the presentation of the best research, scholarship, and creative activities of undergraduate students in the region, and encourages communication of innovative achievements across disciplines.
Students present their scholarly work either in 15-minute seminar presentations chaired by faculty moderators, in poster sessions, or in exhibition or performance.
Students apply to present their work by submitting a proposal in the form of a brief abstract, limited to 300 words. Abstracts are reviewed by faculty from appropriate disciplines at participating institutions and accepted, returned for revision, or declined.
For more information and to browse student abstracts, visit the official SCCUR Web site.