Eastern Washington University will be hosting the 21st annual Student Research and Creative Works Symposium May 15 and 16. Applications are open now through April 13, giving students the opportunity to share their creative work and research with other students and members of the community.
“This is an event that happens for the students. This looks really good on resumes, so if [students] ever plan on pursuing their education to go to the master’s level, they could include that they attended the Symposium, they presented in a professional environment and presented to other students,” said Freddy Vega, Symposium coordinator. “It’s the biggest academic event at the university.”
The first day of the Symposium, May 15, will be for creative works such as art, music, film, theatre and creative writing, while the second day will be for research sessions. Open to both undergraduate and graduate students, organizers of the Symposium have seen students benefit from participating in several ways.
“The opportunities that students receive through participation and undergraduate/graduate research and the Symposium go well beyond their classroom,” said Chuck Lopez, associate dean of the University College. “Students learn how to work in teams, students get the opportunity to think critically, to write research questions and to explore beyond their discipline. That’s why employers are so excited to see a potential employee that has this experience. It says that they have gone above and beyond what typically goes on in a lecture-based class.”
Over the past 21 years, the event has expanded outside of Eastern and now includes the participation of both Spokane area community colleges and satellite campuses. EWU’s Riverpoint campus holds a semester Symposium, which will occur on Friday, March 9.
“The Symposium started with a handful of students and has continued to grow year after year to where nearly 500 students from across the disciplines are presenting,” said Lopez. “We’ve seen a growth in both the student participation and faculty participation. What’s really exciting about it is that it gives students an opportunity to develop those skills that employers want. The more people see that this opportunity is not only fun, but also provides them with real world skills, we continue to see growth in participation not only by the presenters but also by the attendees.”
“I notice that when the students get together, you can see their excited to show all their hard work,” said Vega. “It’s exciting for the attendees too, people leave here with knowledge. I encourage people who have never presented should at least attend and see what it’s like so they can participate the following year.”