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Welcome to the 2021 Virtual Undergraduate Research and Engagement Symposium! Although the global pandemic may have interrupted plans for research last spring and summer, Loyola students and faculty have persevered and persisted throughout this past year. Loyola students and faculty continued to develop research and community engagement projects demonstrating resilience and grit. The Center for Experiential Learning team is excited to feature the work of students with their faculty mentor through this virtual format once again, and we are grateful for the collaboration of University Libraries for providing the shared digital space. This year’s theme of “Persevering in a Virtual World” is only fitting!

During the week of April 24 - 30, 2021, we celebrate student scholarship and community engagement by featuring their work in this symposium! For over a decade, this symposium has been Loyola’s annual celebration of student scholarship and research, including research from a variety of disciplines, community engagement projects, and scholarly, creative works conducted by Loyola University Chicago undergraduate students. On behalf of the Loyola Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (LUROP) within the Center for Experiential Learning, we are excited to feature the work of students as they share their learning from courses and co-curricular experiences, whether through completed projects or ongoing research “in the works.”

As a celebration of students’ scholarly work, this virtual symposium provides space for reflection upon, as well as critical interrogation into, many topics from multiple disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives. Such scholarship actively animates Loyola’s mission to “expand knowledge in service to humanity through learning, justice, and faith.” Through student research projects, community-based learning projects in service-learning courses or academic internship courses, and reflective learning portfolios, students demonstrate their knowledge, skills, attitudes, and values in formation as a result of the Loyola University Chicago Jesuit education.

During each summer and academic year, Loyola undergraduate students spend hours inside and outside of their classrooms, mentored by faculty and staff, to conduct hands-on, original research and to lead community-engaged projects. These scholarly projects not only engage learning differently, but also transform student perspectives, as knowledge is generated or co-created and communities are strengthened. The breadth of multi-disciplinary projects are presented today in various multi-media formats from videos of narrated presentations to learning portfolios and research posters, as well as other creative presentation media. We encourage you to take advantage of the wide array of student presentations in the varied submissions presented in the 2021 Virtual Undergraduate Research & Engagement Symposium.

We thank the faculty, staff, and community partners who serve as mentors to our students, guiding them through the research process or engagement project – your work in facilitating student learning is significant, and we appreciate your time, energy, and commitment! We are very grateful to the faculty, alumni, staff, campus partners, and graduate students who are serving as evaluators to provide feedback this year, ensuring an enriching, learning experience for our undergraduate students presenting at the symposium.

We hope you enjoy the culminating projects and featured scholarship of our Loyola students! For more information about Loyola’s Center for Experiential Learning, a center for engaged learning, teaching, and scholarship, which facilitates high-impact, engaged learning opportunities for students across the curriculum, visit us at www.luc.edu/experiential. To learn more about the undergraduate research program (LUROP), please visit www.luc.edu/lurop. May the virtual symposium provide you with new insights, big ideas, and rich perspectives in learning!

In Service,
Patrick M. Green, EdD
Executive Director, Center for Experiential Learning
Director, Engaged Learning University Requirement
Clinical Assistant Professor, School of Education

All those wishing to submit research or community engagement presentations for the Undergraduate Research and Engagement Symposium are required to do so within the eCommons. Registration is not required. Simply submit your presentation here by Monday, April 19, 2021 at 9:00 am CT.
We CANNOT guarantee that presentations submitted after the submission deadline will be posted to the eCommons.

All questions and concerns can be sent to Max Halm at mhalm1@luc.edu.

Browse the contents of Undergraduate Research and Engagement Symposium:

2020 Undergraduate Research and Engagement Symposium
Beauty in Biology
2021 Undergraduate Research and Engagement Symposium