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Research & Service Leadership Symposium

2023 RSL Symposium

Congratulations All RSLS Participants & Award Winners!

Thank you for making this year's Symposium a success. The presentations and poster sessions were a stellar example of Foothill College scholarship, research, community service, and creativity. And you challenged our judges, who were forced to select only a handful of projects of the 117 who presented!  If you missed the Awards Ceremony, you can now view the list of finalists and Award Winners--the best of the best: 2023 RSLS Award WInners.

RSLS 2023 Award Winners Instagram Post



If you couldn't attend but want to hear the highlights and have a virtual walk-through, our Foothill reporters at The Script captured the 2023 event in an article and vlog. 

View The Foothill Script's RSLS Article & Vlog

You can continue to view the event site, below, to view the descriptions of the many projects featured this year, as well as the bios of the 198 students who took part in the event. If you didn't get a chance to participate this year, don't worry, you can start planning for the 7th annual RSLS in 2024!




About the Symposium

Plan to participate in this campus and community-wide event!

The Research and Service Leadership Symposium provides students an opportunity to expand their learning beyond the walls of the classroom (or the confines of the screen); to investigate their world through in-depth research projects; to create and participate in worthwhile service learning activities, including original creative arts projects, and to present their newfound knowledge, insights and experiences to the campus community.

The Symposium is a celebration of student projects. The event includes:

  • A full day and evening of presentations, poster sessions, peer discussion forums, art galleries, and creative performances.
  • Awards ceremony, keynote speaker and closing celebration.

Why Should You Participate?

Students will gain experience presenting in a professional conference setting on the main Foothill campus & virtual campus through presentations, performance, displays and discussion.

"Participating in the RSL symposium gives exposure to a common practice in academia or industry to further the research and service. Additionally, the experience helped refine our presentation skills, increase visibility of our work, attract new collaborators, and identify future funding opportunities. Being able to also learn about the other projects Foothill students are engaged in makes it a very fun and interactive experience. We're very grateful Foothill offers this rewarding opportunity to get hands on experience and develop skills we will continue to use. We encourage students to participate!"

- Anna Jackson & Meli Renteria

Foothill Medical & Dental Brigades

Judges Award Winners, 2021 & 2023

Need More Reasons?

  • Celebrate Your Achievements
  • Share & Implement Your Ideas
  • Win Awards
  • Gain Confidence in Public Speaking
  • Earn Course Credit
  • Transcript & Graduation Recognition
  • Build Your Resume & Transfer Applications
  • Work with Mentors & Peers
  • Network on Campus & Beyond
  • Build Interdisciplinary Projects

Apply to Join the 2023 Symposium

All Foothill students and Foothill Faculty and Staff are welcome to apply.  You can apply individually or as a group.

Deadline to apply: March 17, 2023



Presenters: Mark Your Calendar for Spring RSLS Workshops

Check back on April 1, 2023 for the full schedule.

The Big Picture: Planning for the Event 

  • Tuesday, April 18, 2023, noon-1 p.m. Join by Zoom.

Projects and Presentations

What Types of Projects Qualify?

Research Projects

Any type of research project from any discipline is welcome.  For example, research that you’ve conducted for a research paper in any of your classes (from History to English, etc.) would qualify, as would any project in which you’ve collected original data (from Sociology to Geology to Physics to Art History, etc.).

Service Leadership Projects

We welcome any type of community service, political activism, or environmental justice project in which you are engaged with a community to solve a problem or to provide community enrichment.  The goal of service leadership projects is to become a leader or an engaged member of a community.

Creative Arts Projects

Art in all forms is a vital service for a thriving community. And original, creative work in the arts (from ceramics, to painting, to photography, to poetry, to music, to theater, etc.) are all welcome. These works will be featured in an Arts Gallery, or as performances, with Q&A sessions with the artists!Foothill students and Foothill Faculty and Staff are welcome to apply.  You can apply individually or as a group.

Create (or Develop) a Project

Interested in developing a research, service leadership, or creative art project, but still need to know more? 

Here are some ways to get inspired:

  • Start with a class project or a course topic that you want to explore further.
  • Connect with other classmates on a shared topic.
  • Attend Foothill’s Club Day and join clubs who are engaged in service activities.
  • Look for problems in your community that need to be solved.
  • Join the Winter Workshops to hear ideas, meet others and collaborate.
  • Find your voice in art! Use your own creativity to express your views on current social issues.
  • Peruse topics and projects from prior symposiums for ideas!

Presentation Formats

RSLS on Campus and in Zoom!This year the Symposium will be a hybrid event, held on the Foothill  campus and in Zoom.

We will be holding the Symposium on the Foothill main campus this year, with additional Zoom presentations. 

Types of Presentations

On-Campus Presentations:

    • 10-min presentations, demonstrations, or talks.
    • 10-min creative performances

On-Campus Poster & Gallery sessions:

  • 1-hour sessions to share informational posters, infographics, or creative artwork and photography with gallery attendees.

Zoom Presentations:

  • 10-min "live" Zoom presentations, demonstrations, and performances
  • 10-min recorded Zoom presentations

More about presentation formats


Judges' Award

Cash prizes of $100 will be awarded to each contributing member of the 5 highest quality/most impactful projects.  Winners will be selected by a committe of faculty, staff and students, based on the submitted application materials and presentation.

Viewers' Choice Award

5 of the most effective presentations/projects will be recognized by the end of the event. Winners will be selected by audience members and participants through a live poll during the Symposium.


Contact RSLS coordinator Allison Herman (she/her) at RSLS@fhda.edu.

RSL Symposium Mission Statement: The mission of this symposium is to catalyze student efforts to engage in scholarly research, service leadership, and the arts. The guiding value of this symposium is that meaningful change in the world can be accomplished through empirical investigation, community engagement, and social, political and environmental activism.

This event is sponsored by the ASFC and the President's Office as part of Foothill's Strategic Objectives ( E²SG) — Enrollment and Equity, Service Leadership, and Governance.


Videographer credits: Amy Harrison Shidler, Faculty Media Studies, Foothill College


Application Closed for 2023

Research and Service Leadership Symposium 2023

Please contact us!

Allison Herman, RSL Symposium Coordinator


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