‘Reverse Career Fair’ Turns the Tables in Connecting Area Employers to Student Researchers

Representatives from local companies engaged students at this year’s Undergraduate Research Symposium
Kent State Works Stacked Graphic

At a typical career fair, employers set up tables and meet with fair attendees to discuss job opportunities. Kent State turned the tables, literally, at the Undergraduate Symposium on Research, Science and Creative Endeavors on Monday by having its first “Reverse Career Fair.”

Representatives from more than 25 area companies and organizations were invited to attend the symposium and meet with the undergraduate student researchers who were presenting their posters.

At this year’s symposium, presented by the Office of Student Research, 284 student researchers presented 150 posters illustrating their research. Cash prizes were awarded for exceptional presentations. The annual symposium was scheduled to coincide with National Undergraduate Research Week, April 17-21.

Undergrad researcher at Symposium 2023

Employers meeting students

Justin Edwards, Ed.D., who joined Kent State in December as executive director of Career Exploration and Development, and his team were responsible for the creation and execution of this inaugural event. Edwards and Julie Novotny Paskiet, a career advisor, reported that representatives from 23 area companies and organizations attended the symposium and were very impressed with Kent State’s student researchers.

John Jewell and student at Undergrad Research Symposium 2023

Three of the companies that attended, City Year, Enterprise Holdings and Team NEO, were event sponsors. Their representatives met with students at the symposium and also participated in the reception and awards ceremony. Other companies in attendance were American Endowment Foundation; American Red Cross; Boys & Girls Club of Massillon; Case Farms; College Now Greater Cleveland; County of Summit, Ohio; Hall of Fame Resort & Entertainment Co.; Hope and Healing Survivor Resource Center; Howard Hanna Real Estate Services; Jennings; Mercy Health; Ohio Army National Guard; Oriana House Inc.; Portage Learning Centers; Recreation Unlimited; Stark Metropolitan Housing Authority; Sunflower Childcare Substitutes; United Way of Summit and Medina; and University Hospitals.

Research at Kent State

The high level of research activity involving faculty and students on Kent State's campuses has earned the university the prestigious R1 designation from the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. R1 status is the highest recognition that doctoral universities can receive, and Kent State is one of only five universities in Ohio to have earned it. At Kent State, students have the opportunity to participate in meaningful research, working side-by-side with university researchers, as early as their first year of classes.

Student presenting at Undergrad Research Symposium 2023
POSTED: Tuesday, April 18, 2023 02:00 PM
Updated: Friday, April 21, 2023 11:31 AM
Phil B. Soencksen