This past weekend, the Gustavus community celebrated the academic accolades of both students and professors.
This was done through a ceremony on Saturday, the nurse pinning event, and with various musical performances.
But the most intriguing event of all was the Celebration of Creative Inquiry event that occurred on Friday, May 4 from 4-6 p.m. in the Campus Center.
During this symposium, also formerly known as the Sigma Xi Symposium, students have a chance to present and celebrate any of the academic or creative inquiries they engaged in during this academic school year.
Students who wish to present must supply a poster detailing their specific creative inquiry.
Moreover, this symposium does not restrict the fields of study that can present at it: all disciplines are invited to partake.
Additionally, students in science disciplines were given the opportunity to present a 15-minute talk based around their research from the year.
The term “Creative Inquiry” was selected for a reason.
Creative Inquiry is a very deliberate wide-ranging term that allows the inclusion of all research and/or scholarships from any field of study.
This includes any presentations of exhibits, art, or performances done by students.
This even is important because “The Celebration of Creative Inquiry is the one annual event at which all Gustavus [students] are able to present their research to a campus-wide audience.
Some of these projects develop out of course assignments or independent study courses; others are research done in students’ honors theses or research carried out over the summer, both on and off-campus,” Eric Dugdale, Director of Undergraduate, Research, Scholarship, Creativity, and Dialogue, and coordinator of the event said.
Throughout the summer specifically selected students are given the opportunity to conduct research on campus with the aid of professors.
This opportunity is given each year, and the students who engage in said research are encouraged to present their findings at the Celebration of Creative Inquiry.
“I will be presenting a poster on summer of 2017 research I conducted, along with Kylee Brimsek, under the advisement of Amy Kochsiek through the FYRE program (first-year research experience). We explored the ability of prairies of different ages to store carbon,” Sophomore Sarah Anderson said. Anderson is a biology major, and a participant in the aforementioned research opportunity, who unfortunately, was not able to present past Friday.
“During the scientific talks, you can expect talks ranging from biology and physics to geology and geography. Some may find it difficult to fully understand everything that is being presented, but that presenters will do a great job answering any questions you may have. The poster session will have an even broader spectrum of fields than the scientific talks. As far as the poster presentations, you could find many different topics.” Senior Casey Decker, a Geology and Geography with GIS Major, senior.
Other examples of projects that are not STEM related are shown on the bulletin board across from the Financial Aid Office in the Campus Center.
The most prevalent example of this is a poster presenting the research done by Junior Megan Eide, Religion and Communication Studies Major, about religion and children’s television.
Some students have had the opportunity to present their research already. This being true for Brittany Courteau, a chemistry ACS major.
“The events that I have presented at that are most similar to the Celebration of Creative Inquiry include the Fall Undergraduate Research Symposium held by Gustavus, the Fall Midstates Undergraduate Research Symposium held in Chicago and the Scholars at the Minnesota State Capitol event in February,” Courteau said.
Courteau presented her poster on the research she did in the summer on 2018 with support from Dr. Amanda Nienow on the photodegradation of a herbicide in aqueous solution.
She believes that the Celebration of Creative Inquiry is a great opportunity to learn about what other Gustavus students have been, or are currently, researching.
“Learning new things is always exciting, plus sharing my research is pretty awesome, too.” said Courteau.
The opportunity to learn new things was certainly accessible.
At the Celebration of Creative Inquiry event there were 26 departments and interdisciplinary programs represented.
Those who attended had the opportunity to ask questions to further their knowledge about the specific topics they were interested in.