The first Research Week at The American University in Cairo (AUC) commenced today, marking the first year that nine different research-related events are consolidated into one annual event. The week features more than 200 presentations by students and faculty members and kicked off today with opening presentations and remarks by Hani Sweilam, professor and director of Center for Sustainable Development at AUC and Mona Amer, assistant professor of psychology at AUC.“This will be an interdisciplinary and institution-wide celebration of research aimed at strengthening the culture of research on campus,” said Amani Elshimi, director of undergraduate research and member of the organizing committee for AUC Research Week. Highlighting AUC Research Week as a campus-wide event, Elshimi noted that the activities are meant to engage all members of the AUC community, “from the student taking his or her first steps on campus to senior faculty.”
For the Faculty Research Pitch Competition, faculty members from all disciplines presented a two-minute pitch and an optional single static PowerPoint slide of a new product, research idea or invention to a panel of judges. For the Student Research Pitch Competition, undergraduate and graduate students presented their research using posters.
“By emphasizing the importance of research on campus, we can redefine how we see ourselves as an academic community,” affirmed Elshimi. ““Students should begin to see themselves not as recipients of knowledge, but discerning scholars. Their professors are researchers, mentors and colleagues.”
Starting today until Thursday, EURECA, the annual conference for Excellence in Undergraduate Research, Entrepreneurship and Creative Achievement, will witness its 12th year at AUC, giving undergraduate students a chance to display their best discipline-based research work.
Tomorrow, an event, titled Creatopia, will run throughout the day, showcasing faculty and student creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship. Among the activities taking place this day will be a literary salon, film screenings, science demonstrations, music performances, art exhibitions and an entrepreneurship exposition.
On Tuesday, presenters include AUC experts and Ahmed Tolba, associate provost for Strategic Enrollment Management. Also the third Academy of Liberal Arts Symposium will host a series of panel discussions on Tuesday, concentrating on liberal arts and language instruction, in addition to the academy’s research, creative work, integrative learning practices, community engagement, pedagogy, and cross-disciplinary collaborative partnerships.
The Common Reading Program is also holding a competition for students giving five minute Lightning Talks on complex issues they contemplated in their critical reading. Even students participating in pre-credit courses will have the opportunity to present their work at the ELI Explorers Panel next Tuesday.
In its 23rd year, the AUC Research Conference will take place beginning Wednesday, April 5. Titled Communities Conceptualized: A Conference on the Definitions, Perspectives and Approaches to Community, the conference invites graduate students and faculty members to submit research revolving around the theme of “community,” with the goal of underlining interdisciplinary efforts at using research to tackle challenges in the community.
Conference themes include defining community; community institutions such as businesses, schools, universities, mosques, churches, recreational facilities, public spaces; community engagement; intellectual communities; community-focused research; the community as a classroom; learning cultures; science and the community; and new emerging communities in Egypt and the region.
The keynote speaker at the conference will be Laila Iskander, former minister of state for environmental affairs, founder and chairperson of CID Consulting, who will deliver a lecture titled “From Trickle Down to Bottom Up, To Base of the Pyramid and Corporate Social Responsibility: Where Do Communities Figure?”
This year’s AUC Research Week will also feature First-Year Research Experience panels on Wednesday, which will offer a space for freshman students to join in on the week’s festivities by presenting research-based projects completed in any 1000-level course.
The weeklong celebration will come to an end with a special closing speech and awards ceremony on Thursday April 6, featuring keynote speaker, Ruha Benjamin, assistant professor of African American Studies at Princeton University, author of Bodies and Rights on the Stem Cell Frontier (Stanford University Press), and 2016- 17 fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey and Malak Zaalouk, professor of practice and founding director of The Middle East Institute for Higher Education, Graduate School of Education at AUC.