The first deadline for MURALS is March 1

Maddie Wright

Colorado State University is gearing up for the third annual Multicultural Undergraduate Research, Art and Leadership Symposium.

MURALS is aimed toward students of color is different fields of study, exposing them to undergraduate research opportunities. It was originally created and continues to be ran by Bridgette Johnson, director of the Black/African American Cultural Center.


On Feb. 14, TILT Associate Director for Undergraduate Research and Artistry Melissa Edwards gave a presentation explaining MURALS and how to be a competitive applicant.

Edwards explained there are four categories a research project could be submitted under: creative arts, STEM, social science and service learning and leadership. Additionally, there is an enhancer element that could be added to any project under any field that would give the student the possibility in an additional award. This element is adjusting their project to include a social justice element.

The topic of this project could be on anything including a passion project, a current or previous school project, current or previous research, outline for research, a study abroad or service learning of community service project completed or to be completed.

According to Edwards, there are three different steps to the symposium, the first being the abstract that is due March 1. The abstract itself should be limited to under 500 words. Edwards said there are examples of abstracts on TILT’s website for students to read and get a better understanding of what is expected.

Once the abstract is done, preparation for the actual symposium, which will happen in the Lory Student Center on March 31, takes place. Two things are expected on this day: a printed poster and a PowerPoint presentation.

The poster should serve as a snapshot of the project and its entirety, including the abstract, key figures and a conclusion. On March 31, students will stand next to their poster and give a no longer than three-minute elevator pitch.

For the PowerPoint presentation, students will present to a small audience no longer than 10 minutes, which will include both the presentation and a Q&A session afterward. This presentation should cover key highlights from their project.

Edwards urges students to practice presentations and utilize resources here at CSU, including reserving a study room at the Morgan Library, timing oneself and presenting in front of an audience first.

There are 11 awards up for grabs worth up to $1,000 each. There is one overall winner, a first and second place winner for each category, a social justice and inclusion award and a rising star award.