SUNY Event, “Discovery: An Undergraduate Showcase” Features Students’ Research and Talents

Students and faculty pictured with SUNY Board of Trustees Chairman H.Carl McCall and Chancellor Zimpher.

In opening remarks, SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher noted, “Research is a critical part of the undergraduate education experience. Today’s event gives us all an opportunity to work together to showcase the quality of our work to the world.”

That’s why SUNY Empire State College’s Center for Distance Learning (CDL) student Veronica Baiamonte traveled from Denver, CO to attend the SUNY Faculty Senate-sponsored event, “Discovery: An Undergraduate Showcase,” which took place yesterday at the Legislative Office Building at Empire State Plaza in Albany, NY.

Veronica Baiamonte with mentor Dr. Nicola Martinez

“I was so happy to be a part of this event and share my research in a real-world setting,” said Baiamonte, a CDL student whose Bachelors degree is focused on media and learning. “There were many more people than I expected. Everyone was walking around, asking questions, and talking about their work. I was able to share my ideas with senators, faculty members and other students, too. It motivates me to think bigger and continue my research in other ways.”

Baiamonte’s research, “Developing an Assessment Rubric to Evaluate Digital and Media Literacy Activities,” was part of a capstone study, instructed by her faculty mentor, Dr. Nicola Martinez, who also attended the event.

“Having a full day to focus on Veronica’s research and interests gave us some lovely ‘mentoring moments’. It allowed us to connect informally, as peers, with similar interests, sharing thoughts, ideas, and interests,” said Martinez, an academic Area Coordinator, Mentor and Instructor for humanities and digital media at the CDL. ”In addition, it was wonderful to see the energy and enthusiasm for undergraduate research shared by the SUNY administration, New York legislators, SUNY faculty mentors, and staff, as well as the extraordinary students who participated,” added Martinez.

The Discovery Event goal was to “share enthusiasm in showcasing a range of undergraduate research projects…and to enhance the image and reputation of SUNY public higher education.” A call for entries was announced in December 2011 and Baiamonte was one of two students selected to represent Empire State College. Over 125 poster presentations were showcased from students at SUNY campus locations across the state including Binghamton University, Morrisville State College, Fashion Institute of Technology, Purchase College, and more.

Janine Carchidi discusses her work with David Lavallee, SUNY Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Provost

“I was shocked and excited when I received the letter that I was selected to attend this event,” said Janine Carchidi, Empire State College’s second student representative. Carchidi’s entry, “Advocacy by Design,” showcased her goal to help not-for-profit organizations to benefit from higher-quality communication and graphic design campaigns, offered at reduced rates. “My passion is graphic design. My experience is in not-for-profit management. When I combine the two, I am able to bring together my ideas and mission into one goal that benefits organizations and the entire community,” said Carchidi, who will earn an Associate of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentration in Advocacy of Design.

Phil Ortiz, CDL Faculty member and a past Faculty Senate representative also attended today’s event. He commented, “Janine and Veronica were actively engaged in their own learning. They were able to describe their projects in a way that was understandable to everyone, and their answers to questions demonstrated their mastery of the subject matter. In observing them interacting with the Chancellor, Provost, Vice Chancellor, Senator and everyone else with who they discussed their projects, it was clear that they were very impressive examples of our unique and talented Empire State College students.”

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