Purdue University Northwest’s Days of Discovery puts research in the spotlight

March 29, 2021

Purdue University Northwest (PNW) will hold its fifth annual research symposium Days of Discovery virtually on April 1 and April 2. This event provides faculty members and students an opportunity to present their research and scholarly activities to the PNW community and general public.

This year’s event comes after a record-breaking year in grant funding for PNW. Faculty, across all disciplines, officially received more than $15 million for research development in the first eight months of the fiscal year with expectations to exceed $21 million before year’s end.

“This achievement is an example of the talent and commitment of the faculty at Purdue Northwest,” stated Kenneth C. Holford, PNW provost and vice chancellor for Academic Affairs. “From cultivating academic excellence to contributing to the advancement of the economy and society, our faculty research has an impact not only on Northwest Indiana, but also nationally and globally.”

While PNW has seen a significant increase in funded research over the last year, unfunded scholarship is just as important. Days of Discovery works to increase awareness of PNW research, innovation and the economic development impacts of that research while fostering collaboration among students, faculty and the research and innovation community.

This year 53 faculty members and 183 students are scheduled to participate in the Days of Discovery symposium with 72 virtual presentations and 110 poster presentations across the two days.

“Faculty research is crucial as it informs and improves teaching and allows our faculty to remain current in their fields. It attracts collaborators and innovators within the community and at large, informs planning and policy decisions, and most importantly, it develops our region and advances our society,” said Maja Marjanovic, director of Research and Sponsored Programs at PNW. “As faculty engage in this event, we hope to share some of these advances with our PNW community.”

Student research also is a very important part of Days of Discovery.

“Student research is a high-impact practice as it promotes deep learning, engagement, literacy and builds relationships,” Marjanovic stated. “Sharing results is an integral part of the research experience, and through Days of Discovery we give students an opportunity to experience this process in its entirety, from developing an abstract and registering to present, to the actual process of developing a poster and presenting the results.”

Faculty and student participants will present in one of three ways: a virtual live presentation, a pre-recorded presentation or a poster presentation. Students will present on Thursday, April 1, followed by faculty presentations on Friday, April 2. The virtual live student presentations will be judged by faculty members and awards will be handed out for first, second and third place in each division – graduate students and undergraduate students.

PNW professors John Durocher and Yu Ouyang

PNW professors John Durocher and Yu Ouyang will be keynote speakers at the 2021 Days of Discovery.

In addition to the faculty and student presentations, this year’s virtual event will feature two keynote speakers. John J. Durocher, associate professor of Health Studies who recently was named to a Nils K. Nelson Endowed Professorship, will present “Lifestyle Strategies to Power Onward” at 9 a.m. on Thursday, April 1. Yu Ouyang, assistant professor of Political Science, will present “The Biden Administration: Campaign Promises and an Initial Assessment” at 9 a.m. on Friday, April 2.

The general public is invited to attend the virtual live presentations along with the PNW community. These presentations can be viewed live, both days, through a link on PNW’s Days of Discovery webpage. Pre-registration is not required but strongly suggested. For more information on PNW’s Days of Discovery or to register to attend, visit pnw.edu/research/days-of-discovery.