At the end of each academic year, Concordia hosts the Celebration of Student Scholarship (COSS), an opportunity for students to present their undergraduate research in the form of posters, presentations, performances, and exhibits. This year, with the move to online learning, COSS has also become a virtual event. COSS received over 95 submissions from 20 different disciplines this year.
Dr. Krys Strand, Director of Undergraduate Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity (URSCA), is in her fourth year as the director of COSS.
“Although we will miss having COSS on campus as an in-person event, we knew right away that it would be possible to have COSS as an online event. We wanted to make sure students still had a meaningful venue to share their research and creative scholarship that they have worked so hard on all year,” Strand said.
Senior and URSCA intern Alyssa Dalen played a role in planning COSS this year as well.
“In a normal year, I focus most of my time on organizing a student leadership team to moderate the sessions that happen throughout the day. I also work with the COSS Committee as a whole to talk through other components of the day,” she said.
Preparations for a virtual COSS are different than preparing for an in-person event on campus. One thing that the COSS Committee wanted to make sure of was that students would be able to present their research as they have put a lot of time into their work.
Senior Ana Bougie is presenting at COSS with her group from her Advanced Developmental Psychology class. The title of her group’s presentation is Loneliness in Older Adulthood: Institutional and In-Place Perspectives and Solutions.
Moving to an online event has changed how Bougie and her group prepared their findings.
“Preparing for my presentation has changed from in-person meetings to online Zoom meetings. My group and I did our sections on Google Docs so that much hasn’t changed. We have had to learn how to use Zoom and also figure out how to record a meeting and do a screen share of our presentation. It seems weird to do an online presentation since we are not in the same room,” Bougie said.
As a student presenter, Bougie discussed the thoughts she had about COSS being in an online format this year.
“At first, I was unsure of having COSS online because I wasn’t sure how to go about setting up a presentation and presenting with my group online. With everything going on, going to online classes and leaving campus, it seemed like a lot to do to learn how to get my presentation online. But I think that COSS online is a great idea because there were many presentations that I wanted to attend but couldn’t because of presenting at the same time or a couple COSS presentations in two places,” she said.
Even though the students are recording and submitting their presentations, COSS isn’t changing too much. The presentations will be listed online at the URSCA website and will be available to view on the COSS CordMN YouTube channel until May 1.
There are many people who put a significant amount of dedicated work into COSS each year, from the student presenters to the planning committee.
“I do want to thank the many URSCA ambassadors for their work to promote COSS and other URSCA opportunities this year. I especially want to thank the COSS Planning Committee – Alyssa Dalen, Reilly Mach, Stacie Erickson, Damian Lampl, Ginny Connell, Dr. Susan Lee, and Dr. Thelma Berquó – for their work this year planning for an on-campus event and adjusting to the online format,” Strand said.
Everyone is encouraged to view the presentations submitted by student researchers. Students are encouraged to use the hashtag #coss2020 when sharing their research on social media with family and friends.