Students’ scientific, creative work to be celebrated at 24th annual NMU event

(Journal stock image)

MARQUETTE — Celebrating creative and scientific endeavors of students is fundamental to Northern Michigan University’s mission, and once again the annual Celebration of Student Scholarship will put student work on display for the campus and community to enjoy.

This 24th annual tribute to and recognition of student work will begin with an opening ceremony at 9 a.m. Thursday in John X. Jamrich Hall, and continue throughout the day with presentations and posters displayed in the building’s main-floor lobbies, according to a release from NMU.

This free and open event highlights the hands-on experiential learning NMU students enjoy while helping them prepare for the external conferences many are likely to participate in during their careers.

“Participation in research and creative scholarship allows students the opportunity to ask their own questions and follow their own curiosity,” said Heather Pickett, director of McNair Scholars and Freshmen Fellows and lead organizer of the event, in the release. “It’s taking ownership of their education and it opens their eyes to the possibilities of the role their academic major plays in the world.”

Participation in the event has steadily increased in recent years — from 124 student in 2015 to 218 in 2018. Diversity of representation also expanded, reaching far beyond the science-heavy participation in years past. Organizers are particularly excited about is the increase in abstracts from departments in the humanities, which has increased to match that of participation from science disciplines.

“The student scholarship in various disciplines is always impressive and we look forward to welcoming community members to share in NMU student discovery and creativity,” said Lisa Eckert, interim dean of Graduate Education and Research.

Another area of growth is group presentations and posters, as well as projects tied directly to coursework. Biology professor Diana Lafferty includes a research project in her conservation biology class, fueled by feedback from students stating it was their favorite part of the course.

Participants will give 15-minute presentations in rooms 1311 and 1320 in Jamrich from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Posters will be on display from 9 a.m.-4 p.m., with a question-and-answer session from 12:30-1:30 p.m.

While all students are welcome to submit their scholarly work, the Celebration also bodes a competitive flare. Students submit posters to compete for prizes within specific categories: Undergraduate upper and lower divisions, undergraduate group and graduate division.

Two new competitions are included in 2019 involving essays. Undergraduate students are invited to submit a creative scholarly work, either written or visual art with a descriptive artist statement. A second essay competition, sponsored by the Lydia M. Olson Library and the NMU Foundation, involves description of an undergraduate project that utilized resources available from the library or Central Upper Peninsula and NMU Archives. Lastly, the Technology Innovation Student Award recognizes creative use of technology innovation in the classroom. Awardees for each competition will be recognized during the 9 a.m. opening ceremony.

This celebratory endeavor brings faculty and staff together in recognition of student work, and affords community members the opportunity to experience one of the most fundamental goals of the university: To support students as they embrace their education.

The event is planned and sponsored by McNair Scholars, NMU Office of Graduate Education and Research and Office of Academic Affairs.