Posters and excitement

The importance of research beyond academics on display during the Hamline Research Symposium event.

Alex Bailey, News Reporter

Senior Maddie Sowinski presents her research to attendees at the 2022 Undergraduate Research Symposium. (Vinny Torres)

College students often wonder what to do next. Whether it be through how they are going to start a career, or how they can best use their skills, students all want to set themselves up for success. 

One way Hamline students are preparing themselves for the future took place Sept. 22: the Hamline Interdisciplinary Student Research and Creative Inquiry Symposium.

The annual Hamline Research Symposium took place in Anderson Center. This event consisted of 39 student research presentations on topics ranging from biological mutations to how AI affects bias. 

Students involved used a poster they designed and printed  to present their research projects to individuals attending the event. 

One of the coolest parts? A portion of the student research presentations came from students whose majors are not typically research heavy. English, journalism, theater and religion are just a few of the areas of study that are represented here, in addition to those who conduct research more regularly, like science, engineering or mathematics. 

Lauryn Magwaro, a senior studying biochemistry, found much more than her passion for science by participating in the research symposium. 

“Public speaking is difficult, but presenting my research helped me build confidence,” she said. 

Students are encouraged to engage with individuals that may take an interest in their work and share what they have learned, which presenting students have found is important for building intrapersonal and public speaking skills.  

Attendees are not the only ones who learn about various ideas and theories. Nicole Espinoza, a senior studying English, felt the research symposium brought her closer to other students who were also presenting their research. 

“Community is important, and the research symposium achieves just that,” Espinoza said. 

She also found a group of students who not only care about their future, but the future of our world. 

“Research is done by people who want to create change,” she said.

The symposium also allows for students to be recognized for the countless hours they have put into their research, giving them a sense of accomplishment and appreciation. Nikki Amaya Rapalo, a senior double majoring in biology and political science, felt gratitude when people came and asked her about her research. 

“You put in so much work and effort…it’s nice to tell people what I’ve done,” Rapalo said. 

When a student is recognized for the work that they’ve done, it can not only boost their confidence but make them feel more inclined to participate in future research opportunities, students expressed. 

Many of the participants in this year’s symposium are seniors who have faced the effects of a global pandemic on their education COVID-19 has not stopped students from pursuing their goals. It gave Magwaro the drive to seek out opportunities and allowed Amaya Rapalo to build her problem-solving skills while learning virtually. 

Want to get involved with research opportunities on campus? Find more information about Student Collaborative Undergraduate Research (SCUR) on Hamline’s website, or by contacting SCUR Co-Directors Leif Hembre at or Sharon Preves at