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Event to Showcase Breadth and Depth of Student Research and Creativity

April 13, 2018
By: Nancy Sheehan

Worcester State University’s 11th annual Celebration of Scholarship and Creativity, which showcases innovative student achievement, will add a new digital twist this year.

Each year, WSU recognizes the accomplishments of hundreds of our scholars, creators, and researchers at the event. The exhibition features traditional poster presentations, panel presentations, publications, and artistic exhibits across a variety of curricula, bringing the entire University community together to celebrate scholarly achievement and creative excellence. New this year: many students will be presenting e-posters in keeping with the ever-onward march of technology.

Oral presentations will kick off the event on Wednesday, April 18 at 8:30 a.m. and end at 12:30 p.m. in the Student Center in the Fallon and Foster rooms on the third floor and the North Auditorium on the first floor.

“This year’s celebration has taken what has already for years been a great event and added yet more,” said Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs Henry C. Theriault. “For the first time, WSU will be including electronic posters along with traditional printed posters in the competition gym. We have more than 30 student groups who will use the electronic posters to present slideshows of still images, interactive experiences, and videos.”

The poster session will take place between 3 and 5 p.m. in the competition gym of the Wellness Center and will highlight the breadth and depth of innovative student research going on at WSU at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Among the projects that will be featured this year:

  • Oral presentations from students of Dr. Jeanne Moore’s Germany 20th-Century Culture class
  • An examination of the local socio-economic impacts of immigrant entrepreneurs in Worcester by sociology student Colin Thomas Houle
  • A digital story presentation that was created for the Worcester Historical Museum by communication students
  • Student Steven Rose’s study of support services for veterans on the Worcester State University campus
  • A GIS model of tree planting in Worcester to replace lost vegetation caused by the Asian Longhorn Beetle infestation

A “reverse job fair” will be held as part of the event. It’s a job fair where employers walk around checking out student presentations, as opposed to students visiting the booths of employers. More than a dozen employers have signed on, with more expected as the event draws closer, according to Director of Career Services Jillian Anderson.

Typically, a reverse job fair is especially successful for the employers in the STEM fields because they’re used to poster sessions.

“Every science conference has poster sessions, and that’s often how some employers find people,” she said. “So, for them it’s usual, but we’re trying to kind of open it up to all types of employers.”

Several local nonprofit organizations also have signed up for the fair, she said.

“I think some of these companies will have success finding people because there is a large group of psychology and sociology students who will be presenting, and even if they find one person it’s great,” Anderson said. “They seem to be pleased with that, and it’s a great way for the companies to get their name out on our campus.”

Theriault said that he reviewed the more than 150 proposals for presentations submitted. He has done so in the past and was especially impressed with this year’s submissions.

“There are so many presentations I await eagerly,” he said. “The only down side of the celebration is that, due to the number of applications, we must run two to three concurrent sessions for oral presentations on the morning of the 18th.”

It can be challenging for those wishing to attend to hear all the presentations they would like to hear, he noted. However, there is an up side: this means that there are a growing number of students preparing for and offering oral presentations.

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