This year’s JICUF Undergraduate Research Day (URD) will take place on Friday, February 25 from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Japan time. The event is open to all. Not only current students, faculty, and alumni, but prospective students, families and anyone who is curious about the research done by senior students at ICU are welcome to attend.To attend, please register here.
JICUF has been sponsoring the URD since its inception in 2018. At the time, Associate Professor of Linguistics Seunghun Lee applied for a JICUF grant to organize the event where 45 students had the opportunity to present their senior research in the Togasaki Kiyoshi Memorial Dialogue House. Since then, the URD has been held twice every year in February and June to accommodate both April and September students.
This year, fourth year student Le Xuan Chan has been appointed the Chief Student Ambassador, and is organizing the online event with six other students.
JICUF had a chance to speak with Le Xuan, who is currently working on his own senior research in Malaysia.
JICUF: Hi Le Xuan. Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
Le Xuan: My name is Le Xuan Chan and I am a fourth year student majoring in linguistics, in particular phonetics. Associate Professor Seunghun Lee is my supervisor. I am from Malaysia. I’ve always wanted to study abroad, and I thought it would be interesting to try Japan because my father studied there. When I applied to ICU, I was fortunate enough to receive the Nishikata Masumi Memorial Scholarship. I will be graduating this June.
JICUF: What is your plan after graduation?
Le Xuan: I would like to pursue academics, so I am applying to graduate programs, some in Japan and some abroad.
JICUF: How did you become involved in the URD and become appointed the Chief Student Ambassador this year?
Le Xuan: I attended the URD as a freshman in 2018. At that time, I was taking Dr. Lee’s class, and he invited all of us students to come. Since the pandemic hadn’t hit yet, the event took place in the gakki with everyone presenting posters. I didn’t know anything about linguistics then, so it was interesting to look at what the seniors were doing and imagine what my own research could look like. Then last year, I was asked to help out as a URD ambassador, and helped organize both the February and June events. Both events were held online. Because of this experience, and since I am a fourth year student now, Dr. Lee asked me if I would be interested in helping organize this year’s event.
JICUF: How will the event take place online?
Le Xuan: Before the pandemic, students displayed large posters in the cafeteria and presented their research to guests who came to look at their posters. We will replicate this by using both Zoom and Slack. On Zoom, we will assign a breakout room to each presenter, and guests will be able to go in and out of any room to learn about each project.
On Slack, we will have a separate channel for each presenter, where the presenter will upload their slides and be able to interact with the attendees. The Slack channels will be open ahead of the event, and remain open for perhaps a month, so guests will be able to post questions and comments and keep in touch with the presenters.
JICUF: What do you think is the value of URD?
Le Xuan: As an undergraduate student, you don’t get many opportunities to attend or present at conferences. URD gives students that opportunity. Seniors work really hard on their senior research projects and to be able to present it is a very rewarding experience.
It also helps younger students (first and second year students). By attending the event, they get to explore different fields before choosing their majors, as well as possible topics for their own future research. It’s a great event not only for the fourth year students but for everyone in the ICU community and beyond.
JICUF: Do you have a message to your kouhais?
Le Xuan: Please join the URD, you won’t regret it! It is a great experience for both presenters and attendees. Even if you don’t know what research you’re going to do yet, it’s a great opportunity to explore what options are available out there. It’s also a great way to meet and connect with people who can help you throughout your journey at ICU. It’s free and you can attend from your own room, and through Slack you will be able to contact people afterwards as well.
JICUF: Thank you so much Le Xuan! We are sure the event will be a huge success!