Graduate Student Research Day

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By Awais Qazi

The Campus Center Atrium was filled with distinguished academic figures as the Graduate Student Association of NJIT held its tenth annual Research Day. The audience was welcomed by GSA President Sapana Patel, who organized the event, followed by many words of congratulations from prominent professors and a few distinguished guest speakers, including President Joel Bloom.

President of NJIT, Dr. Joel Bloom, and Vice President of NJIT, Dr. Fadi Deek, greatly encouraged and stressed the importance of research and highlighted the fact that we, as NJIT, are doing a great job in preparing students and providing them with the resources needed in order to make breakthrough discoveries that could potentially have a huge impact on society as a whole.

Afterwards, Sapana began to welcome the guest speakers to the stage to give a brief background on how they were able to successfully implement their research and make an impact. It was clearly evident that the speakers were incredibly qualified; Dr. James Charles Phillips is a well renowned Physicist and member of the National Academy of Sciences and has over 500 published papers, Dr. Reinhard Juraschek plays a big role in research at the enormous company, Johnson and Johnson, and Dr. Atam Dhawan is the Vice Provost for Research and Development at NJIT.

Dr. Juraschek encouraged graduate students to always be curious and open to learning despite how much you already know. He makes it clear that passion is the key to success with regards to research; if you are in it with your heart, it will show. Dr. Dhawan focused on the impact of research in his presentation. He states that research leads to new knowledge, discovery, and/or invention and then quotes Albert Szent-Györgyi who says “Research is to see what everybody else has seen and to think what nobody else has thought.” According to Dhawan, research can lead to innovation and entrepreneurship, which is extremely important for NJIT as one of the leading technology and research institutions in the nation. Closing the ceremony was Dr. Charles Fey, the Vice President for Academic Support and Student Affairs at NJIT. Dr. Fey stresses the fact that “NJIT has a great history of producing great researchers and contributors to society.” There are currently about 3000 grad students at NJIT and we produce about 60 PhD students each year.

After Dr. Fey’s closing statements, lunch was served to the audience. After lunch, the graduate students were given a chance to present their research to the audience along with posters they had worked on and submitted to the Graduate Student Association. The abstracts for the research done by the graduate students were compiled into a book and given out to all of the guests at the event.

The presentations were followed by a brief Award Ceremony, where presentations were given out to presentations deemed exceptional. The Advisor of the Graduate Students Association, Dr. Sotirios Ziavras then wished the crowds a farewell.

All in all, the event was a huge success and proved to be very motivational. We look forward to seeing what the Graduate Students Association has in store for us next year!

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