What is RSLS?


Wakana Matsumoto presenting “Is Being an Introvert a Disadvantage to Well-Being?: The Challenges Introverts Can Face and Solutions for Self-Acceptance”

RSLS – Research & Service Leadership Symposium – took place on Thursday, May 18, at Foothill College, providing a platform for students to showcase their research projects in front of a live audience, similar to TED Talks. The event offered students a glimpse into the world of research.

Participants were given the freedom to explore a wide range of topics as long as they were relevant to the event. For instance, projects included “Less is More: How Frame Rate in Animation is Used for Storytelling ft. Puss in Boots: The Last Wish” by Nicholas Jean and “It Hurts to Breathe: A Political & Personal Novella” by Jharna Sutaria. The students dedicated varying amounts of time to their projects, ranging from one month to six months, which required them to hone their project management skills while experiencing anxiety when questioning whether their research is good enough.

When presenting, students would stand behind a podium in a small room, giving a speech on what they discovered through their research. Audience numbers ranged from ten to twenty people.

Engaging in research at RSLS provided these students with a competitive edge when it comes to applying for jobs and universities. The ability to work on a project over an extended period while balancing other academic responsibilities demonstrated their perseverance and resilience.

The Awards Ceremony marked the conclusion of RSLS, where winners were announced. Among the recipients was Wakana Matsumoto, an international student from Japan, who presented her research on “Is Being an Introvert a Disadvantage to Well-Being?: The Challenges Introverts Can Face and Solutions for Self-Acceptance.”

Wakana Matsumoto highlighted the cultural differences she encountered as an introvert in the United States. In Japan, it is common to dine alone, but she faced questioning from people when doing so in the US, as American culture expects individuals to be part of a group while out and about.

Her research aimed to explore whether there is validity to the notion that introverts are generally unhappy. Drawing on multiple research papers, she ultimately concluded that extroversion is favored in our culture, contributing to the perception of introverts as less content. Matsumoto encouraged viewers to embrace a “diversity of well-being management,” emphasizing that comparing oneself to others on social media is unnecessary and that different individuals find solace in various activities such as listening to music or relaxing at home.

In addition to presentations, the event also featured a poster session, where different groups showcased their research through visually appealing posters. Be sure to check out the accompanying vlog that documents the highlights of RSLS!

Hosted by Jasmine Trujillo and shot by Justin Allahyari

Click here for more information on RSLS.