Showcasing Excellence in Student Research - STU Hosts Annual Student Research and Ideas Fair

Male student standing and giving a presentation on a projector in classroom

St. Thomas University’s recent Student Research and Ideas Fair saw over 30 student presenters presenting their work on a wide range of academic disciplines.  


The annual fair is an opportunity for students to develop an in-depth understanding of a research topic under the guidance of a faculty mentor and then share their findings to their peers and the wider community.  


Dr. Kim Fenwick, Acting President and Vice-Chancellor, noted that students at STU have unique opportunities to work with their professors on research, something not common at larger universities. 


“Participating in the fair means that our undergraduates are exploring ideas in a way that requires investigation, analysis, and judgement; it takes them to a higher level of academic development.”   


The fair also equips students with higher level public speaking and presentation skills. Students presented their findings on a range of topics in the form of presentations, discussions, and poster displays. Question and answer sessions meant that each student had the opportunity to engage with the audience and share different perspectives.  


Students on the Benefits of the Research and Ideas Fair


Rachel Domno, PsychologyResearch Topic: Personality Traits, Attitudes, and Conspiracy Theory Beliefs 


This was Domno's first time presenting her research to a wider audience and the event helped her to hone her communication skills.


I was more cognizant of the language and concepts I’m using for people who wouldn’t be familiar with social psychology terminology or how certain statistical analyses work.”  

Her advice to students is to take advantage of the close-knit community and resources at STU. 


"The professors at STU are very welcoming and they want you to succeed. This is a rewarding experience and a great way to build your academic career and skills on your resume,” she said.  


Adam McDougall, Political Science 

Research Topic: Deradicalizing the Online Alt-Right 


McDougall believes that participating in the fair is an enriching experience for students. 


“Most of the time, we are undertaking these massive projects individually. But being able to share my work in a setting with different peers and professors made it rewarding and fun,” said McDougall.    


He said the opportunity to work with his advisor was instrumental in developing his thesis. 


“My supervisor has given me really good feedback and challenged my ideas. I’m grateful for all the times I’ve been pushed to reassess my assumptions, so I can incorporate more perspectives, and improve my research,” he said.   


Erin Elliott, Human Rights 

Research Topic: Domestic Conduct and International Treatment: Examining the Complex Relationship Between Hamas and Palestinian Self-Determination  


Elliott describes working with her advisor as “one of the most valuable experiences as a student".


Having some of the most knowledgeable people in the field guide you is valuable and encouraging. And being told that what you’re doing matters and could make a significant contribution in your field is an incredible feeling,” said Elliott.  


Elliott found the fair a rewarding and enriching experience. 


“Watching my peers present on the topics they're so passionate about and being part of sharing that knowledge is a huge accomplishment,” she said.  


Discover more about the Student Research and Ideas Fair 2023.