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Welcome to the 2020 Virtual Undergraduate Research and Engagement Symposium! Despite interruption from the health crisis, Loyola students and faculty continued to develop research and community engagement projects demonstrating resilience and persistence. The Center for Experiential Learning team is excited to feature the work of students in this virtual format, and we are grateful for the collaboration of University Libraries for providing this shared digital space.

During the week of April 18 – 24, 2020, we celebrate student scholarship and community engagement in a variety of ways! For over a decade, this symposium has been Loyola’s annual celebration of student scholarship, including research, 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, whether through completed projects or projects “in the works” due to COVID-19 interruption.

As a celebration of students’ scholarly work, this virtual symposium provides space for critical interrogation into and reflection upon many disciplinary topics. 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 (from 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 to learning portfolios and research posters and other creative presentation media. We encourage you to take advantage of the wide array of student presentations in the varied submissions presented in this virtual Undergraduate Research & Engagement Symposium.

We thank the faculty, staff, and community partners who serve as mentors to our students – your work in guiding 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.

For more information about Loyola’s Center for Experiential Learning, a center for engaged teaching, learning, 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. We hope you enjoy the scholarly work and culminating projects of our Loyola students!

In service,
Patrick M. Green, EdD
Executive Director, Center for Experiential Learning
Interim Assistant Provost, Student Academic Services
Clinical Assistant Professor, School of Education

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

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Undergraduate Research and Engagement Symposium