UA Graduate Students to Compete in ESPRMC Research Symposium

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – More than 100 graduate students from across campus will showcase their research and compete for travel awards in the annual Educational Studies Graduate Research Symposium on Thursday, April 13, at The University of Alabama.

Graduate students both on campus and off will participate in paper discussions and poster presentations in person and remotely. Students will compete for a up to six $500 travel awards, which can be used to fund trips to present research at national or international conferences.

The symposium will begin at 1:30 p.m. in the Woodis-McDonald Auditorium Lobby in Graves Hall. The event is free and open to the public.

UA Graduate School and the educational studies department issued more than $3,000 in symposium travel awards last spring.

“The symposium wasn’t something I knew about,” said Tyler Williams, a kinesiology doctoral student who won a travel award in 2016. “My professor mentioned the experience and the opportunity to boost my CV and get more poster presentations. I was really eager to present the findings, and it was a great opportunity to get more practice.”

The research Williams shared at the 2016 symposium has blossomed into something greater. The manuscript is now in the second round of revisions for a major journal, he said. Williams plans to submit some of his dissertation data for the 2017 ESPRMC Graduate Research Symposium.

The ESPRMC Symposium is in its ninth year and is the largest graduate research presentation opportunity on campus, said Dr. Stacy Hughey Surman, chair of the Symposium Committee.

The symposium started as a departmental push to prepare students for the American Educational Research Association annual conference but has grown in size and scope over the last four years. Participation increased from 43 students in 2013 to 103 in 2016. Bama by Distance students now can participate through virtual poster sessions and remote video presentations. Graduate students who have special needs and require specific accommodations, like an interpreter, are invited to participate.


Dr. Stacy Hughey Surman, clinical assistant professor, Educational Research, 205/348-7729,


David Miller, UA Media Relations, 205/348-0825,

The University of Alabama, the state’s oldest and largest public institution of higher education, is a student-centered research university that draws the best and brightest to an academic community committed to providing a premier undergraduate and graduate education. UA is dedicated to achieving excellence in scholarship, collaboration and intellectual engagement; providing public outreach and service to the state of Alabama and the nation; and nurturing a campus environment that fosters collegiality, respect and inclusivity.