Forum helps students publish research

The Society & Culture Undergraduate Research Forum (SCURF) is a forum designed to assist students looking to get their research published. The Sonoma State University Anthropology department held the first SCURF forum in 2009. 

Founded by the Sonoma State University Anthropology Club, the SCURF Mission Statement says the forum is “dedicated to assisting students in preparing, presenting and publishing their research pertaining to issues of human society and culture in a professional setting, developing new skills that will be useful in professional and public careers and advantageous in post graduate academia.” 

The Anthropology Club participates in the execution of the forum each spring. Between 15 and 25 reports, either oral or poster, are given each year. 

Many of these presentations come from class term papers, research done with a professor, or even senior thesis or capstone projects. Dr. Alexis Boutin, co-advisor for the Anthropology Club, says the forum is a way to for students to formally present their research.

“[The forum] was created to provide undergraduates in the Social Sciences with an opportunity to present their original research in a formal conference setting,” said Boutin. 

SCURF is looking to broaden its horizons this year by encouraging students from different schools on campus to participate in the forum. 

Their goal is to enrich the Sonoma State community and offer a more hands-on experience for a variety of majors throughout the university. 

“Since then it has broadened to include students from many more academic disciplines, including arts and humanities, business and economics, and science and technology. Any research that touches on human (or animal) societies and cultures is welcome,” said Boutin.

SCURF is a way for undergraduate students to get involved in the publication process, especially for those that are planning on continuing their education through a masters program or who would like to gain work experience in their field. Tomio Endo, a current organizer of SCURF, became involved with the forum through participation. 

“As a participant, I was a new anthropology major who was, and is, very passionate about academic research and I was looking for a way to get involved in an academic student run project,” said Endo. “So I wrote up an abstract and submitted it when the first call for abstracts went out. I was very excited at the idea of presenting my research to a receptive, professional, and encouraging audience without the crazy implications of writing, publishing and presenting to a professional journal. Plus I thought this would be a great resume item for my academic/professional career.”

This year’s forum will be held on April 9 in the Student Center’s Ballroom B. This year’s forum theme will be “Imprints,” and there will be a keynote speaker that is yet to be announced. 

The forum is open to all students, faculty, administrators, and public that wishes to attend. There will be light food and drinks served to all the attendees as well as the participants. 

For all students that are interested in participating in the forum, the application period begins this week. Students will submit an “abstract” or summary of their project to Moodle. 

To find out more information on the forum look out for a Facebook page that will be debuting by the end of the week. Information is also located on the Moodle page. There will also be flyers and general information on the forum in the Anthropology department located in Stevenson Hall.

The deadline for priority entry is Feb. 15. Students who submit their abstracts in that time will be given feedback and time to revise their proposal before the official deadline. The final deadline to submit proposals is March 3.