RDC conference gives students a chance to experience life of academia

Outside of school work, Red Deer College students had a chance to get a taste of life in academia as they spent a day presenting a paper to an audience.

Outside of school work, Red Deer College students had a chance to get a taste of life in academia as they spent a day presenting a paper to an audience.

About 60 students gave presentations throughout Saturday on papers they have written during their college life. The presentations were a part of the 10th annual Agora RDC undergraduate conference

English instructor and chair of the conference committee Heather Marcovitch has seen some interesting presentations and papers over the years. One on video games came to mind from a few years ago. She said the presenter talked at length about the life of a video game from the beginning of production through to final gameplay.

“Right now there’s a presentation on eco-psychology,” said Marcovitch. “It’s this field of psychology that is trying to show that the environment actually causes psychological wellbeing, that’s why it’s important to preserve the environment.

“You feel calmer when you’re walking on a beach or in a forest. It actually helps your psychological wellbeing.”

On top of the essays and research papers there is a group of students who present work from creative writing class, or their own interests.

“There are some people here who are in their first year, and this is the paper they may have done last semester or this semester and someone said ‘you know, this is really good, you should present this,’” said Marcovitch.

“Some of the students have been here two or three years and they’re presenting from their longer, ongoing work.”

The presentations are extra-curricular and no one gets credit for doing this, but Marcovtich said it is good for the students’ resumes as it shows they are talking at conferences and have public speaking skills.

“This is the life of academia,” said Marcovitch. “When you engage in intellectual culture, and this is everywhere, you do a lot of research, field work, lab work and library work on your own.

“A few times every year people like to congregate and share their ideas, and that’s what a conference is. We do this here to give people a taste of what intellectual life is about. Every so often you take what you’ve been doing by yourself and you share it with a group of your peers.”

On top of the presentations the students will have a chance to see their work published. The Agora: RDC Undergraduate Journal assembles the papers into a document, showcasing the range of works from humanities and social sciences students. The work is also edited by a group of students, offering them a chance to try their hand at editing copy.

mcrawford@bprda.wpengine.com

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