Students Take Charge at Sixth Annual Curry Research Conference


On Friday, the Curry School community participated in the sixth annual Curry Research Conference (CRC). The entirely student-run conference is designed for students to share their research with and receive feedback from other students, faculty and alumni.

“At its core, the Curry Research Conference offers students an opportunity to develop their skills in presenting their research,” said Catherine Bradshaw, associate dean for research at the Curry School of Education.  “Students also gain visibility for their own research and get experience discussing research, which will benefit them in both the near- and long-term.”

The day began with eight sessions where more than 40 students moderated and presented their work on a variety of topics ranging from health & wellness, to student assessment, to serving diverse populations. In addition to presenting in sessions, 20 students were selected by a committee of reviewers to present their research at two poster sessions. 

According to Bradshaw, participating in this conference can have a long-lasting impact.  A 4th year clinical psychology doctoral student, Hillary Morin, gave an oral presentation at the CRC last year, then went on to win an award at the American Psychological Association for her research presentation in a poster format in August 2014.  Just this past week, she gave her first paper presentation at a national conference – the competitive Society for Research in Child Development.

“Without the opportunity to present at the Curry Research Conference and get some feedback on both her research and her presentation style, I don’t think she would have been as well prepared and positioned to present at these other national conferences,” said Bradshaw.

Amy Reynolds runs CRC registrationIn addition to the skills gained by those participating in the conference, there are many skills learned in the planning of the conference, as well.  The steering committee for this year’s conference was chaired by doctoral students Amy Reynolds and Wendy Rodgers and comprised of 7 other students.  Thirty more students served in unofficial, volunteer capacities.

“The conference provides opportunities for students from multiple disciplines to collaborate in launching a research event which has such a significant impact on the school and beyond,” said Bradshaw. 

Included among these student presentations, there were opportunities for faculty members to participate.  The keynote address was offered by Kevin Miller, professor of psychology and educational studies at the University of Michigan. His keynote address can be viewed online at http://curry.virginia.edu/video.

Curry School faculty members, including Dean Bob Pianta, led a variety of workshops during the late afternoon session.  These workshops were designed as professional development opportunities for the student participants and to cover topics from specific research techniques to preparing for the job market.

The SEEDS4Change student organization also led a workshop on the topic of diversity scholarship.

The conference concluded this year with a new addition: an awards presentation.  A committee of twelve faculty members judged the poster presentations in the afternoon.  The committed announced the winners of the poster session competition and presented the recipients with their awards at a reception to cap off the day’s events.

A schedule can be found on the Curry Research Conference webpage.