SCCUR 2022: An Opportunity for Inspiration
On Saturday, November 19, 2022, Pepperdine University hosted the Southern California Conference for Undergraduate Research at its Malibu Campus. Over 1,500 people converged to listen to a wide variety of scholarly research presentations, a keynote address from Astronaut Jose Hernandez, and enjoy a day centered around the theme of “inspiration.”
“Pepperdine did an amazing job hosting the first in-person conference for SCCUR. I left the conference feeling like students were blessed by the hospitality of the institution, and that we offered a memorable experience, says Dr. Stella Erbes, Divisional Dean of Seaver College’s Humanities and Teacher Education program, who served as the SCCUR Chairperson. “There was joy – to go with Pepperdine’s theme this year. There was joy on our campus from being together in community, pursuing scholarship, learning from one another, and we haven’t had that since the pandemic with SCCUR.”
Undergraduate students presented over 600 different research projects. These projects ranged in discipline from business and engineering to English literature and the performing arts – as well as everything in between. This array of presentations granted all sorts of students the opportunity to present in a professional and scholarly setting.
“I’m very proud to have the opportunity to present my research,” says Julian Jacobs, a Seaver College student. “I worked in a group of students over the summer who were all dedicated to this project. Many of them worked on this project alongside me and helped me do it, and while I’m the one presenting at the conference, it was a group effort. It’s satisfying to show others our work.”
Fifty-two Seaver College students presented their work. As a whole, the conference hosted a total of 117 different institutions including Harvard, Yale, and even King’s College in London.
Speaking to the theme of “Inspiration,” Astronauts Dr. Sian Proctor and Jose Hernandez spoke at the conference. Proctor offered a virtual welcome, and Hernandez delivered an, in-person keynote lecture concerning his journey from migrant farmer to astronaut. Hernandez specifically offered students his nine step recipe for success, as he encouraged them to create and chase after their dreams.
“It means the world to me [to come and share with students at SCCUR 2022],” says Hernandez. “I wish I had someone like me when I was their age who could talk to me and give me a road map as to how to go ahead and pursue my goals and dreams and the strategies needed to achieve them. I’m happy to serve as a role model, give them ideas, and inspire them. I’m hoping that’s what I’m doing – giving them inspiration.”