ABOUT Initiated in 2016, The Giles T. Brown Student Project and Research Symposium was conceived by a group of faculty, staff and Deans who believe in the value of the relationship formed between a student and mentor when they explore their academic discipline together beyond the classroom. The Symposium group provides a venue for all students from any field at OCC to showcase work they've done in class or independently. We recognize that disciplines showcase work in different ways, so we have created a safe and supportive way for students to share posters, oral presentations, or exhibitions of work to their peers. We hope the Symposium can simulate a professional conference, but also recognize that students need a first step into their profession. More than just a day of presentations, we provide support throughout the academic year in the form of faculty-led workshops to identify a research idea, develop an abstract and prepare a poster or oral presentation. At the event, our OCC community provides constructive feedback and selects the top participants for a scholarship award. The entire activity is made possible by the many hours of volunteer work put forth by our faculty and staff driven committee who see the value in mentoring students to build community and a sense of connection to the OCC campus. In the last 5 years, more than 200 students have showcased their work and some have gone on to receive local and regional awards for the work they’ve conducted at OCC. As an attendee shared, the symposium "helps you gain knowledge in something you might not have looked into on your own."