CU Hosts National Research Conference

CU Hosts National Research Conference

by Alyssa Handel- Cedarville, OH

July 20, 2007

Nearly 180 researchers, representing top-rated academic institutions like Columbia, UCLA, Emory, and Syracuse, were introduced to Cedarville University as they came to campus for the 19th annual Ethnographic and Qualitative Research in Education (EQRE) Conference.

In this two-day conference (June 8-9), participants presented their research findings in both paper and poster sessions. They also had the opportunity to submit their papers for publication in the new, peer-reviewed Journal of Ethnographic & Qualitative Research.

With a rich history among qualitative researchers, EQRE formerly had been held at Ivy League and prominent eastern institutions. The national reputation of Dr. Michael Firmin, chair of the department of psychology at Cedarville, for scholarship in qualitative research enabled CU to host the prestigious conference. Through EQRE’s success during the past two years on the Cedarville campus, attendance has doubled in size.

The keynote speaker, Dr. James Swartz from Miami University, considered the central location a significant factor in the conference’s success. “I was pleasantly surprised to see people from all over the United States and Canada in attendance,” he said. “Ohio State and Indiana University were also represented. It is good to see large universities from nearby supporting the conference.” For Cedarville’s faculty and student researchers, the opportunity to host the event further opened the world of academe.

Firmin explained, “Hosting a long-standing conference of national repute indicates to the world of academe that Cedarville has significant influence in the research world. We are a player and make substantial contributions in this higher education domain.”

What will it mean for Cedarville when the conference papers are cited in future studies? “[It will help] Cedarville be viewed as a research-active institution … It provides a value-added dynamic for graduates when they identify themselves the rest of their lives as Cedarville alumni,” Firmin added.

Swartz had never been to Cedarville prior to the conference but was impressed by the beauty and care of the campus, as well as Cedarville’s efforts in facilitating the conference. “[Cedarville] has the appearance of an institution on the move,” he noted.

More than a dozen of Cedarville’s psychology faculty and students joined together in co-writing and presenting papers for submission. Eighty-five papers were submitted for potential publication in the new quarterly journal, with indexed articles appearing in H.W. Wilson’s Education-Full-Text with others planned for the future. Firmin says the goal for the journal is to be “fully accessible to the world’s best scholars and eventually to become a leading journal in the qualitative research field.”

Learn more about the conference.