Graduate Research Center creates space for innovation

The start of the new school year came with the opening of the new Graduate Research Center between Moody and Jones libraries.

Programming manager Kevin Singer says he is pleased with the completion of the GRC, which has been in the works since early summer. The study space specifically for graduate students stemmed from a “graduate space that launched in fall 2014 in Moody Library,” according to Baylor’s website. Singer said that this center offers a lot of space for graduate students to get work done.

“The vision to provide a space for graduate research has sort of always been in the vision for the university libraries,” Singer said.

Many parts of the GRC are geared toward graduate students. The floor plan is available on Baylor’s website.

“The hallmark of the GRC is what we call the Incubator,” Singer said. “It is a large study/collaboration space where students can work on their various projects and trust that it will be quiet and susceptible to doing hard work.”

Sylvia Hernandez, the GRC’s operation manager, said the GRC is a new venture for the libraries.

“It’s a space for grad students, and they can come here and study or relax,” Hernandez said. “For them, it’s a place they can branch out and not be holed up in their tiny spot.”

The GRC includes a lounge, as well as a break room and a Visualization Studio.

“The Visualization Studio is a state-of-the-art classroom with a large visualization wall that is perfect for presentations and scholarship,” Singer said. “It enhances anything you put on it.”

The study rooms in the GRC are similar to the study rooms that are offered at the Paul L. Foster Campus for Business and Innovation.

“They are great for individual or group study, and those can be reserved online, which is very convenient,” Singer said. “They have large televisions with click-share technology, so you can plug your laptop in and put your screen on the [big] screen.”

Hernandez said they are focusing on the needs of the graduate students at the GRC.

“We are making sure that we are meeting the needs of the students and taking suggestions and thinking about how we can help the grad students,” Hernandez said.

Singer encourages graduate students to study in the GRC.

“The GRC is exclusive real estate for grad students,” Singer said. “Sort of having that confidence and security that when they walk in, there are others in that similar stage of education. There are students working on projects of similar rigor, and so there is something special for grad students, knowing that the university is committed to their research.”

“Although returning to its original purpose, this space has not always been used for graduate students,” Hernandez said.

“When the Poage Library was originally built, it was intended for a graduate study and research space,” Hernandez said. “Then for a while it was the Center for International Education. They have recently moved, so now it is the graduate research center again.”

The final renovations will be complete on Oct. 1. Singer said he sees this quick project as a positive for the university.

“Whereas most universities that put a project together like this take a year or two years, we did it in four to six months,” Singer said. “That’s sort of one of those things we are celebrating. We did things in a much shorter amount of time, compared to what other schools have done.”