By Lillian Linscott
Grand Rapids Community College will be host to the Summer Research Fair from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 23 in the Raider Grille.
The Summer Research Fair was created by Anna Maria Clark, academic advisor for TRIO Student Support Services. She said that the program began with a “happenstance phone call” with Michigan Tech, and she believes the opportunities presented at the fair are greatly provincial to students.
“I encourage students to come and learn,” Clark said. “It is really a great opportunity for students. They can get real hands-on experience in the field that they want to work in.”
At the Summer Research Fair, students who participated in the program the previous year will present their research while staff from the other participating colleges will talk to students about the wide array of opportunities available to them.
Through the program, students are able to develop relationships with faculty, become comfortable and learn to navigate the colleges where they are thinking of transferring. At the end of the program, students leave with a physical product and skills they will use in their future endeavors.
An average of eight to 10 students participate in the program each year and more than 90 percent transfer to the college where they spent the summer. Clark stressed the importance of stopping by TRIO workshops and checking out the fair.
“We have workshops throughout the year where students learn about how to go through a competitive process,” Clark said. “The earlier they start, the stronger possibilities of getting involved.”
One student that attended the program went on to be invited to stay at the college by a professor so they could continue their research. According to Clark, the professors are “incredibly supportive” of students.
There are a variety of deadlines, ranging between Feb. 1 and 15. Each college participating in the program will have representatives to speak with students and alert them of deadlines and requirements.