After receiving many emails supporting my decision to bring this issue into the public spotlight from fellow research competitors and fellow classmates at CSUSM I decided to keep an eye on the CSUSM Research Competition to see if anything would change for the better. After all, I was contemplating participating once again before I graduate if I saw these changes otherwise what really is the point?!
A whole year has passed since my terrible experience with the California State Univerisity - San Marcos Research Competition and a fellow work associate at CSUSM decided to participate this year. This inspired me to check the CSUSM website where all the information about the competition can be found for interested participants.
If I recall correctly after I addressed the discrepancies and errors within the Research Application forms, the website and the judging in the competition, what do I find?
The CSUSM Research Competition website / webpage is now changed EXACTLY as I recommended. Despite being shunned by Geraldo Gonzalez of the Research Department at CSUSM and despite being embarrassed and ostracized to each and every one of my fellow research competition participants it appears that my concerns were actually valid.
However, it does appear that one thing did not change within the California State University - San Marcos Research Competition:
How they group research participants together regarding their Major AND the Judges who judge each group of participants.
This years winner Majors (the students names are not important with where I'm going with this) are as follows:
(3) Biological Sciences
One question that continues to come to my mind regarding the California State University - San Marcos, regarding those judging it and regarding those running the competition at CSUSM is:
"Does the CSUSM Research Competition cater to certain majors?"
When looking over the history of "Finalists" at CSUSM I see a pattern of Psychology, Biological Sciences and Kinesiology winners.
Could this be because of how participants are grouped by their majors or majors grouped with judges who are that specific major while other majors are being grouped with judges who are unfamiliar with their major?
I still think more tweaking is required to ensure a "non-bias and legitimate" research competition at CSUSM. Again, how participants are grouped together via their majors and the judges who teach a certain major might be construed as bias and illegitimate if there is a Film major lumped into a group with Psychology majors and Psychology judges/Professors... then the finalists for that group is all Psychology majors.
>>> IF THE FINALISTS OF EACH GROUP ARE THE SAME MAJOR AS THE JUDGES/PROFESSORS THEN BIAS MIGHT BE INVOLVED <<<<
I hope someday I don't feel the way I do towards the CSUSM Research Competition and that someday I will believe it to be a legitimate and non-bias research competition giving students an actual opportunity to receive constructive input from judges and to walk away from the experience with something worthwhile.