Skip to main content

Student-led symposium celebrates diversity, interdisciplinary work

March 16, 2010

Ancient leadership for our modern world; insect societies and their connections to memory loss; and the impact of climate change on the U.S.-Mexico border will be among the many presentations during the daylong inaugural Interdisciplinary Graduate Research Symposium that will bring together 28 presenters from more than 18 departments and schools at ASU from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., March 26, at the Memorial Union on the Tempe campus.

Maria T. Allison, vice provost and dean of the Graduate College, will provide the keynote address before the presentations. The symposium will include theoretical and applied research that transcends disciplinary boundaries.
The event and its robust line-up are the work of three enthusiastic Latina graduate students Jessica Aquino, Diana Barela and April Bojorquez. All are members of the Latina(o) Graduate Student Alliance (LGSA).

"We are hoping that the symposium will bring graduate students who wouldn't normally interact,” said Bojorquez, a graduate student in the School of Human Evolution and Social Change. “Computer scientists will present next to anthropologists, biologists and artists. It is going to be a great opportunity to engage the presenters and the audience in a symposium that is representative of the various research taking place at ASU."

Aside from the provocative 24 student-led presentations, the symposium also will include a special panel discussion for undergraduate students titled “Getting In and Getting Paid: An Overview of the Graduate School Process.”

“It was Diana's idea about holding a panel discussion for undergraduates,” said Aquino, a doctoral candidate in the School of Community Resources and Development. “I think it is a really great idea because many students don't know what graduate school life is like and many might be too intimidated to try.”

Aquino and Bojorquez have been excited by the positive response their event has had with so many people from different areas of the university.

“There should be more interdisciplinary conferences for graduate students at ASU," Aquino said. "Next year I would like to open more rooms and hold more presenters.”

The LGSA Interdisciplinary Graduate Research Symposium is part of ASU’s Grad Week, March 22-26. For more information visit