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Research & Service Leadership Symposium

2022 RSL Symposium was a Success . . . Thanks to all of you!

Thank you presenters, mentors, facilitators, administrators, FHDA Foundation, students, and community attendees for making this an amazing event! If you are interested in participating next year, check back in Fall 2022 for a new workshop schedule.

In the meantime, get inspired by reviewing this year's projects

Review the May 19 event!

More than 150 presenters, 100 presentations

This year the Research and Service Leadership  Symposium was held virtually via Zoom with some on-campus activities.  While the video recordings are not available, please review the program for a listing of the participants and projects, and get inspired for next year.

View List of Presentations

View Projects, Presenter Bios, & Art Gallery

Access the 2022 Event Program

Award Winners & Special RSLS Recognition 

2022 RSLS Awards Recipients

RSLS Program Quick Overview

9:30-10 a.m. Opening Ceremony with Keynote Speaker Jamila Wignot, Producer & Director, Ailey

Meet Jamila WignotJamila Wignot is an award-winning Brooklyn-based filmmaker. Her body of work includes AILEY (Sundance '21); the Peabody, Emmy, and NAACP award-winning THE AFRICAN AMERICANS: MANY RIVERS TO CROSS; TOWN HALL a feature-length co-production with ITVS about the Tea Party movement; and for AMERICAN EXPERIENCE the Peabody Award-winning "Triangle Fire" and Emmy-nominated "Walt Whitman". Wignot’s producing credits include Sierra Pettengill’s RIOTSVILLE, USA (Sundance '22); “Hands On,” for The New York Times FX/Hulu series The Weekly; W. Kamau Bell’s directorial debut BRING THE PAIN: THE DOCUMENTARY; and the narrative A STRAY (SXSW ’16) by Sundance Award-winning director Musa Syeed.

10 a.m.–6 p.m. Zoom Presentations 

  • Preview the Official RSLS 2022 Program Schedule for a complete program with listed presentations!
  • You can attend presentation sessions on the hour throughout the day, beginning at 10 a.m.
  • We invite you to sample individual projects, explore themes, or absorb the event from morning to evening.
  • While we encourage you to attend multiple sessions and see the full range of research, service, and creative arts projects that participants have developed, the RSLS is an open event.
  • You may "room hop" to see individual presentations. We invite you to make room in your schedule for the full day, or just an hour.

9:30 a.m.–7 p.m. On-Campus Activities

  • 9:30 a.m.–5 p.m.: Livestream opening ceremony & presentations [Library]
  • 12:30–1:30 p.m.: A Parliment of Owls Improv Showcase [Hearthside]
  • 6:30–7 p.m.: Foothill Beats Drumming [Library Quad]

7-8 p.m. Awards Ceremony

  • Celebrate the full day of presentations with our evening Awards Ceremony, during which we will honor 5 of the most impactful project presentations with the RSLS Judges' Award.
  • We will also recognize 5 additional projects selected by you, the audience, with a </spViewers' Choice Awards.

  • You can vote for the presentations that "speak" to you




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). Students are encouraged to investigate their world through in-depth research projects, create and participate in worthwhile service learning activities, broaden perspectives through original creative arts projects, and present their newfound knowledge, insights and experiences to the campus community.

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

The Symposium itself is the culminating event of these student projects. The event includes:

  • A full day and evening of presentations, peer discussion forums, art galleries, and creative performances.
  • A keynote speaker, awards ceremony, and closing celebration.
  • Hybrid activities on campus, including live streaming of virtual presentations and discussion.

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. In addition to presentations or performances, with Q&A sessions with the artists, these works can be featured in a virtual or on-campus Arts Gallery! 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 arts 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.
  • Attend the 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 Meets Zoom . . . with Hybrid Campus!

This year the Symposium will be virtual, with all presentations held on a Foothill Zoom platform. However, we will be holding live streaming of portions of the virtual event at Foothill campus.

Projects and presentations will be submitted electronically. This should not limit the creativity of the projects. Use your imagination!


  • Physical work can be photographed and talks and performances recorded.
  • Presenters can share their work as “live” Zoom talks, as e-posters or slides with voiceover, or as 10-minute recorded presentations.
  • Formats for arts can be image collections, videos and recordings.

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.


Please contact Allison Herman & Michael McCusker, co-coordinators of the RSL Symposium 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


watercolor image of woman hold megaphone

Please contact us!

Allison Herman & Michael McCusker, RSL Symposium Coordinators