17th Annual Student Project and Research Symposium showcases student work

Food insecurity, environmental stressors and the search for identity tackled by some of City’s best

17th Annual Student Project and Research Symposium

An animated short fiction film by Radio, Television, and Film student Sofia Hill placed second at the 17th Annual Student Project and Research Symposium. YouTube screenshot

Kathryn Gray, Multimedia Journalist

The 17th Annual Student Project and Research Symposium was a unique opportunity for students to present their original projects and research through visual and oral presentations, spoken word performances, podcasts and radio, and news broadcasts – and it was all streamed live on YouTube April 15. 

In his opening message, City College President Ricky Shabazz thanked students and mentors for their participation in the Symposium and their dedication to social justice and equity. 

“This is just one opportunity of many to showcase your wonderful work and efforts to improve the world we live in,” said Shabazz in his opening message.

There were three judging categories: Posters, Communications Showcase and Spoken Word. First and second place awards, worth $150 and $100, respectively, were presented in each category, with one President’s award worth $300 presented for the best project from all categories.

The communications showcase featured podcasts, social media campaigns, television and radio broadcasts, and live speeches.

City Times multimedia journalist Jesus Lopez used his passion for cooking, ability to captivate audiences in front of the camera and drive to end the stigma around food insecurity to launch the social media campaign #CityCookingChallenge on Instagram which was awarded the President’s Award of $300. 

Through #CityCookingChallenge, Lopez brings awareness to Hunger Action Day at City College, which occurs on the first Tuesday and third Monday of every month from 12 p.m. to 2p.m and provides members of the City College community with free food. Don’t miss the next #CityCookingChallenge and Hunger Action Day on Monday April 19 to see the next delicious meal Jesus creates. 

The search for identity and drive to shatter stereotypes was a common thread woven through many of the student presentations. 

“Was I bi, was I alone, I don’t know, but it gets better that is all I can say,” said communications student Michael Stewart. His speech “Let’s get one thing straight,” in which he tells the story of searching for identity and self-acceptance that started with a letter to a friend, won first place.

“Rising Star,” a written piece by R.J. Chambers about gender, identity, family and acceptance was flawlessly performed by Tamra Balardeta and Cyanne Rachell Knight and awarded first place in the Spoken Word category. 

The top awards in the posters category went to student presentations tackling health and environmental stressors currently impacting many in the City College community and beyond.

Alicia Canales Esparza and Kiera Feighan Patrizi won first place for their project “Sleep Deprivation,” which concluded that most college students, especially in the time of COVID-19, are not sleeping the recommended 7-8 hours per night. 

The second place awards went to Ana Maria Zamora for her project “Covid Vaccines: Pros and Cons,” and Courtni Demnianiuk, Darlenne Gomez Valencia and Brian Alvarez for “Weather Predicting.”

Visit YouTube to view the entire 17th Annual Student Project and Research Symposium.