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Research and Creative Works Symposium ReCap


Research and Creative Works Symposium ReCap


By Devon Bradley

On April 12th, Southwestern University hosted its 17th Annual Research and Creative Works Symposium From Every Voice (CSW) in lieu of classes. The event welcomed over 500 presenters representing 29 departments, programs and offices. With a diverse selection of panels, performances, exhibitions, posters, and oral presentations, the Symposium celebrated the manifestation of the University’s mission to foster a liberal arts community whose values and actions encourage contributions toward the well-being of humanity.

First organized by the Beta Beta Beta Biology Honor Society in the spring of 2000, this year’s CSW was a record-breaker in terms of participation.

“Every year, I hope for more presenters and that their abstracts are well written,” Christine Vasquez, Dean of Faculty and the event planner for the symposium said, “The Debby Ellis Writing Center holds Writing Abstract Workshops and the workshops are well attended. This year, I have so many presenters I have to bring in Physical Plant to come up with creative ways to hang up posters. This is a good problem. The entire campus gets together to make this day possible.”

This year’s Symposium was put on by event planner Christine Vasquez, the Dean of Faculty, senior Emma McDaniel, the Student Program Chair, and faculty sponsor Dr. Alison Kafer, Professor of Feminist Studies. Additionally, 30 student volunteers were at hand to make sure the event ran smoothly. The call for the submission of abstracts ran from February 1 to March 4.

Presentations were eligible for five awards which were given during the Awards and Celebration ceremony at the end of the day. Judged categories included evaluation of panel abstracts, oral abstracts, oral presentations based on audience attendance, posters, and Creative Works and Exhibits.

The Symposium has attained status as one of the lasting legacies of a Southwestern liberal arts education: students gain valuable experience by presenting their research and creative works.

“It can have a profound impact on their career path,” Vasquez said. “It helps with understanding and not memorizing. It gives them a better perspective of what they can achieve it. They learn to manage their time and deal with different demands of a project. They can handle funding and resources and overcome logistical obstacles.”

Information on participants, including abstracts of their presentations, are published in the program book which is available online on the Southwestern website. All students are encouraged to attend.