Friday Aril 30 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m., the John S. Kendall Center for Engaged learning will present its third annual Celebration of Creative Inquiry. The event, which will be held in the Campus Center in the space between the Heritage room and Banquet Room B, is a place for Gustavus students to present displays of their work on class projects, senior theses, or independent study research projects.
“It’s a great showcase of the liberal arts,” Kendall Center Faculty Associate for Undergrad Research and Assistant Professor of Chemistry Brandy Russell said. “There are so many disciplines all in one room at one time.”
This year’s Celebration of Creative Inquiry will include 113 student projects by 209 total students, sponsored by 49 faculty members. Twenty academic departments are represented in the projects, covering nearly every avenue of education at Gustavus. The event is an opportunity for younger students to get a glimpse of the possibilities they could explore for their own research later in their college careers and for older students to see what their peers in different departments are working on.
“Most students do [research] at some time, and it happens in and out of the classroom,” Russell said.
Each student or student group will have a visual display of their work and will be near it for most of the event to take questions or explain their work. Visitors to the event are encouraged to tour the banquet hall and explore the various displays that interest them. There is no formal schedule to the event, and any member of the Gustavus community is welcome to come for any or all of the two hours.
Any student was welcomed to participate in the Celebration of Creative Inquiry, from first-years to seniors, and from any department of study.
“I’ve been conducting research with [Assistant Professor of Chemistry] Brenda Kelly for about a year and a half, including 10 weeks over the summer,” Senior Biology Major Chelsea Koepsell said. Koepsell also participated in last year’s CCI event with her now-graduated research colleague Colin Boettcher ‘09. “I was struck by the wide variety of student research being conducted here at Gustavus. CCI is a great opportunity for students of different disciplines to be exposed to work their classmates are conducting, and to share their own work with a wide-reaching audience,” Koepsell said.
Senior English Major Abby Travis is participating in her second CCI. “I participated in the CCI last year in the group ‘The Poetry of Protest, the Poetry of Witness’” Travis said. The group was formed from the work students did in a class with Professor of English Joyce Sutphen.
“Presenting as a large group was really wonderful because while each of us had our own project, we all fell under the umbrella of Protest poetry,” Travis said. This year, Travis will participate in another poetry group centered on the Writing Poetry class.
The Celebration of Creative Inquiry was originally created and debuted in the 07-08 school year by a group of faculty.
“It was an event to celebrate research scholarship and creative work,” Russell said. The faculty group that conceived the idea was made up of various departments, as is reflected by this year’s 49 faculty sponsors.
“Students are creating new knowledge and new art, and it’s not always found in the classroom,” Russell said.