Written by

Daniel Robles (i3 2016)

Week one of the 2020 Concluding Institute here at i3 has zoomed by (no pun intended). Although virtual, this first week has been extremely engaging and our students have been working rigorously to get their final projects organized and ready for presentations for later this week. We can’t wait to hear their research presentations and share their journeys with you all!

BUILDING NARRATIVES. Day one of this first week kicked off with a workshop focused on building a narrative and the basics of presenting research. Figuring out how to communicate this yearlong research journey in a way that ties everything together and engages the audience is no simple task. We challenged our students to share their research journey in a compelling way. Take the research and shape it into a world, a story – one that really captivates the audience and illustrates why the research matters. Each component of the research project from their research questions to data analysis is another chapter of the experience. 

For the rest of day one and all through day two, our research teams kicked it in gear and mapped out their narratives. All throughout, our i3 leadership team and advisors have been hopping in and out of breakout Zoom rooms offering their support. 

TALKING GRADUATE SCHOOL. i3 is so incredibly fortunate to have such an active group of alumni. For day three, we shifted gears a bit and welcomed back Vincent Grimaldi (i3 2017) and Josue Figueroa (i3 2017) to give our 2019 scholars a professional development session on the graduate admission process. 

Many of our i3 scholars, like Vincent and Josue, have gone on to graduate school for master’s or PhD programs. We deeply appreciate their insights on the ins and outs of the application process. They taught our newest scholars about the initial contact with your target graduate schools, how to prepare for applications, and what questions to ask throughout the process. Applying to graduate school can often be stressful and long. Thanks to Vincent and Josue, our 2019 cohort was given a boost of confidence with the reminder that if the right steps are taken early, the experience of applying to graduate schools can be an exciting challenge.

Vincent Grimaldi (Left Center) and Josue Figueroa (Right Center) leading the way in their Grad school application presentation

To wrap up day three, our 2019 scholars took a much-needed break from all the hard work with some friendly competition. We all played a few games of Covidopoly and Jackbox games online together. 

BACK TO RESEARCH. On day four, our scholars continued working on their projects and checking in with their advisors. Teams made so much progress, and the fact that all of this progress has been done 100% remotely has made it even more impressive. 

To further support them along the way, students participated in two workshops: one on building, preparing, and delivering presentations and one on how to disseminate research to broader populations across different mediums. It’s important to rethink how we disseminate our research results and learn how to effectively share the information your research reveals to all kinds of different audiences.

All smiles as our scholars build up their presentations

HALFTIME. To wrap up our first week, our scholars were in need of some self-care and brief escape from their work. What better way to “escape” than a virtual escape room. With the collective efforts of our i3 family, we were able to solve all of the puzzles just in time!

Virtual escape room proved no match for our scholars

Over the weekend, each of our research teams met with the i3 Director and Assistant Director to discuss their personal goals and how i3 can continue to support them. After a weekend of reconnecting, working, and some much needed rest, we’re ready for the rest of Concluding Institute. 

Week 2, here we come!