LU hosts second Graduate Research Conference

Lamar University's College of Graduate Studies successfully hosted its second Graduate Research Conference on Thursday, March 28, at the Setzer Student Center.Student Presenter

The inception of the conference began in 2019, but the pandemic put a pause to the event.

“We began the Graduate Research Conference in 2019 as a research ‘celebration’ to find out what appetite our students and faculty had for such a showcase. That conference was successful, and we immediately planned another, built around the concept of Big Data. We filled many sessions and acquired a keynote, but the pandemic was an obstacle,” Associate Dean of Student Success Dr. Robin Latimer said. “In the Spring of 2022, we determined to hold our second conference, and we are so very happy to say we did so this year on March 28 under the leadership of Dean Brett Welch, and I was named as conference organizer for the second time. As well, we engaged with Dr. Christian Bahrim to help us with poster presentations.”

The theme for this year’s conference was Artificial Intelligence (AI). Throughout the day, attendees engaged in a series of presentations, poster sessions, workshops, and discussions covering a diverse array of topics. Primary areas of focus included AI, Chat GPT, Big Data, Education, Nursing Post-COVID-19, Engineering for Environmental Resilience, and more.

Graduate Research Conference The conferences keynote lecture was mathematics and statistics professor, Dr. Katarina Jegdic, who delivered her presentation "Mathematics, Machine Learning, and Applications," providing attendees insight into the intersection of mathematics and modern technological advancements.

We feel that building a keynote speaker into the conference sets a bar for our students and faculty and encourages a sense of pride in our university, and we will continue that practice as we move into the futuree,” Dr. Latimer said. 

The goal of the conference is to fulfill the objectives of the College of Graduate Studies, providing students the opportunity to grow their research skills.

“The stated objectives of the College of Graduate Studies encompass the need to foster opportunities that advance knowledge through research, develop the student’s research skills, intensify the student’s engagement in the chosen graduate field, and introduce the student to the professional standards, organizations, and protocols in the chosen graduate field,” Dr. Latimer said. “We feel that gathering a research conference regularly crystallizes student and faculty efforts around these objectives, allowing programs, leaders, professors, and students to reflect on their practice and uncover strengths and areas for improvement.”

In alignment with these objectives, Dr. Latimer stressed the pivotal role of hosting regular research conferences.

“Whether the conference will be hosted annually, or every two years is under consideration, and, of course, we will review our conference and implement changes. For example, this year’s conference, unlike our first one, included door prizes, free workshops with faculty, and a poster competition,” Dr. Latimer said. “Our students and faculty supported our efforts, and we are very grateful. We hope the conference will grow to include student contributions from other regional institutions. 

To learn more about LU’s graduate programs, visit