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Students learn presentation skills at Annual Research Conference

2021-03-19-ARC-Angela Rhilinger
Angela Rhilinger, a senior pursuing a degree in English with a concentration in literature as well as a second degree in studio art, plans to use the Annual Research Conference to gain more experience. Rhilinger will present a paper that compares uses of the labyrinth in Vergil's "Aeneid" and Chaucer's "House of Fame."

University of North Georgia (UNG) honors student Holden Armstrong has presented at conferences before on topics ranging from international affairs to strategic and security studies. As brigade academic officer in UNG's Corps of Cadets, he is comfortable speaking in front of large groups.

On March 26, Armstrong will present his research question and method for the first time to faculty, staff and students during UNG's Annual Research Conference (ARC). His question examines the Corps of Cadets' involvement with the university's Honors Program and Nationally Competitive Scholarships Office.

"I'm looking forward to presenting the research that I have done by myself versus a collective group," said the senior pursuing a degree in strategic and security studies at UNG. "The experience will help me practice my research presentations skills."

The 26th ARC will be conducted virtually from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. via Zoom. It will feature prerecorded asynchronous poster sessions and live oral presentations and panel discussions. Online discussion boards will allow the presenters to answer questions and respond to comments from viewers about their poster presentations.

"While we aren't doing the Annual Research Conference in person this year, we can still conduct the conference safely," said Allison Grundel, administrative assistant for the Center for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities (CURCA).

Establishing a safe and familiar setting for students to share their research with the UNG community and gain vital feedback or constructive comments on their projects is the purpose of the ARC.

"Students can practice presenting their research at our conference and feel more prepared for the next one," said Mandy Losito, a graduate assistant for the Center for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities (CURCA), which sponsors and organizes the event. "For the first-time presenter, the ARC may be less intimidating and more attractive since it is free and is in front of fellow students."

UNG students like Angela Rhilinger and Matthew Karshna plan to use the event to gain more experience, though each participated last year. Karshna turned his nine-page paper into a PowerPoint presentation while Rhilinger will share the paper orally.

"My goal is to present the information in a concise and simple way," said Karshna, a junior pursuing a degree in English with a concentration in writing and publication.

His research focuses on how body language, pitch and sounds are used by fictional characters who don't speak real-world languages. He explained in the movie "Star Wars," R2D2 uses different pitches and sounds to convey meaning.

Rhilinger, a senior pursuing a degree in English with a concentration in literature as well as a second degree in studio art, is presenting research that compares uses of the labyrinth in Vergil's "Aeneid" and Chaucer's "House of Fame." Rhilinger hopes the research and two previous conference appearances will help with graduate school.

"Presenting at a conference shows good initiative that graduate schools are looking for and will give me an edge," Rhilinger said.

To see the students' research, register for the event by visiting the Annual Research Conference website. Students interested in learning more about undergraduate research opportunities may visit UNG's CURCA website or email curca@ung.edu.

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