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Sonoma State Star

The Student News Site of Sonoma State University

Sonoma State Star

The Student News Site of Sonoma State University

Sonoma State Star

Research competition open to all


Having a good learning experience and creating connections with possible future employers are important aspects of college. The CSU Student Research Competition is a great way to check off both of those signature activities off of the to-do list. 

At Sonoma State University, the CSU Research Competition is taking applicants until Friday, Feb.  22. The competition is open to graduate and undergraduate students in several departments.

These applicants will be able to present research to a committee that will select the top 10 teams and send them on behalf of Sonoma State to go compete against other CSU schools at CSU Fullerton on April 26-27.

COURTESY // Stacey PeltonJunior David Story in the Space Shuttle Simulator during his 2018 summer NASA internship.

COURTESY // Stacey Pelton

Junior David Story in the Space Shuttle Simulator during his 2018 summer NASA internship.

The competition “happens every year. It is the 33rd annual event.” said Stacey Pelton, the Campus Coordinator of the Student Research Competition. “Each year the competition is held at a different CSU campus.” 

The students whose projects are selected will have their expenses paid for. 

“The students that we choose, we pay for their travel expenses, airfare, lodging and meals.” said Pelton. 

With the research competition school wide, it includes all majors, not only science based fields of work. All projects will have to be based around some form of research or historical background. 

“Research is not always about the end result, but about the process getting there.” said Pelton.

Sonoma State wants to send ten projects, but sometimes that is not the case. 

“Last year we sent eight, but our goal is ten.” said Pelton. Even with a smaller group “two of eight placed, at first and second place.”

For David Story, junior Electrical Engineer major and Computer Science minor, this will be his second year in a row applying to the competition. As a way to adjust from presenting to your peers on campus there is a wider range of people represented at these events. 

“[I] really like the environment, [there is] a lot of time to present to an audience that is tailored to your field, in both technical and administrative side.” said Story.

With this being a statewide event, there will be a lot of people interested in research there, including possible employers either for internships or for jobs. 

With the effort Story put in, he was able to score an internship with NASA in Houston in the summer of 2018. 

The competition is a great way to perfect what employers are looking for: bright young minds that are willing to stand in front of a full room and describe their research for ten minutes. 

“You can sit in a lab all day, but that is never going to prepare you to go face to face with a buyer or a scientific community.” said Story.

With the first due date fast approaching, students should definitely consider this option because of the wide variety of subjects they allow for review. 

“Any Sonoma State University student that is doing a research project, either in the classroom or as part of a faculty research project, should consider entering the competition.” said Steve Karp, associate vice president for the office of research and sponsored programs.

“Being selected to represent Sonoma State University is an honor and will be impressive to future schools and employers that the student may apply.” said Karp.

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