On Thursday, November 12, the College of International Relations held its 21st Zemi Research Convention in a hybrid in-person and online (live streaming) format. First held in 2000, the Zemi Research Convention is an event that gives third and fourth-year students in the College of International Relations an opportunity to share their research with the rest of the university and the wider world and to receive feedback from the audience.

In preparation for the event, the 20 participating teams from 14 seminar classes hung posters outlining their research in the lobby of Koshinkan Hall, and students rated each other’s posters. Before this, the students attended a workshop held by Graduate School of Technology Management Professor Keisuke Shinagawa where they learned tips for creating effective posters.

The convention attracted more than 800 participants, of whom 300 participated online, and these included representatives from various industries and government agencies, alumni, high school students, and international students who are still unable to enter Japan. With the addition of an online complement this year, a large number of participants from overseas and other parts of Japan were able to attend. Furthermore, for first-year students, the convention provided them with an opportunity to learn about the various seminar classes while deepening ties with upperclassmen.

After the presentations, some enthusiastic first-year students stayed on to ask questions to the company representatives and alumni who were participating online and ask questions to the upperclassmen who presented on campus. After each presentation, question-and-answer sessions were held, and all told, these results in around 200 pieces of feedback for our students. One audience participant commended the convention for affording new kinds of cross-campus interaction by saying, “I imagine it was difficult for the students to achieve these research outcomes amid the difficulties faced due to the pandemic. It was extremely rewarding to be able to listen to their research presentations online.”

Meanwhile one participating student remarked, “It was fascinating to meet other participants involved in various other fields and hear their opinions,” and another participant said, “I was able to expand my knowledge by joining this convention. It was a great experience.” This was the first time to hold a hybrid convention, but with the large number of participants in both formats, it proved to be an invaluable experience for the students.

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