women with bullhorn and others raising fist

Research & Service Leadership Symposium

2024 RSL Symposium

Congratulations Participants & Thank You Foothill College Community!

Thank you to everyone for making the 7th annual Research and Service Leadership Symposium on May 16, 2024 such a succcess! 

View the 2024 RSLS Program page to view the award winners and finalists, relive the event, and get inspired for next year! 

View 2024 RSLS Program


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.


Mark Your Calendar for RSLS 2025 & the Fall Workshop Series

Are you interested in presenting at next year's symposium in May 2025? Get prepared with our workshop series, starting Fall 2024 with in-person and zoom options.

See the past workshop slides and recordings for a glimpse of what's to come.

View Workshops

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.
  • Attend the Fall 2023 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:

  • 2-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

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 and awarded a Foothill Bookstore gift certificate. Winners will be selected by audience members and participants through a live poll during the Symposium.


Please contact RSLS coordinators Allison Herman (she/her), Lisa Schultheis (she/her), and Laura Gamez (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 President's Office and Foothill-De Anza Foundation.


Videographer credits: Robert Heynen, Media Studies Student, Foothill College


Application Closed for 2024

Research and Service Leadership Symposium 2023

Please contact us!

Allison Herman,
Laura Gamez,
Lisa Schultheis
RSLS  Coordinators


Connect with Us

Discord LogoInstagram Logo