RARE symposium to highlight student research, trip information
Students and faculty who embarked on this summer’s annual Radford Amazonian Research Expedition (RARE), one of Radford University’s signature study abroad and research opportunities, will be presenting their research and providing information for future participants at the Sept. 28 RARE symposium.
The student-researchers will start hanging their research posters in the first floor (street level) of the Center for the Sciences beginning at 4 p.m. Students and faculty who led the expedition will conduct a roundtable discussion and Q&A session from 5 to 7 p.m. in room M73.
RARE is a three-week trip to Peru during which Radford University students not only conduct original research, but develop new knowledge, build strong relationships with each other and faculty, explore the exotic terrain and serve those who call the jungle home.
Due to the increased number of participants, the expedition was split into two trips this year. The first group, led by professors Jay Caughron and Stockton Maxwell, left May 15 and arrived back in the United States on June 4. The second team, led by professors Cassady Urista and Jason Davis, departed July 16 and returned Aug. 6.
RARE has not only grown in popularity since the inaugural group of 10 student-researchers embarked in summer 2015, it has evolved into a life-changing opportunity for students from all areas of study. This summer’s participants included majors in psychology, sports medicine, biology, criminal justice, anthropology, geospatial science, dance, nursing, visual arts and computer science.
“As a faculty member, it’s the coolest way you can teach,” said Maxwell, who co-led the May 15-June 4 trip. “To take students out there and see them problem-solving, working through issues and dealing with adversity in the environment - it’s just amazing. For me, that was so rewarding, and that’s what makes your job as an educator worthwhile.”
For students, the trip was equally as rewarding.
“This trip will challenge you in ways you never expected,” said political science major Rachel Sharrett, whose RARE research focused on education and patriotism. “It tests your mental and physical strength. It will make you better and change you in ways you never anticipated. It gave me new perspective on myself and on the world. I can honestly say I am a better person because of it.”