By Libby Campbell
For months, students from all areas of study have been preparing various projects that represent their research and creative work. On May 15-16, they will finally be able to show off their accomplishments.
The 15th annual Student Research & Creative Works Symposium will take place next week. Students will present their projects to the general public, faculty members and fellow students.
“It’s an arena for students to show what they’ve been working on, basically. To show the public and other students what’s going on in their programs and also personally what research topics or creative works topics they take on,” said Jill Hererra, a senior technical communications major who will have a poster on display.
Some students will give presentations to an audience while others will just display posters and answer questions.
Krystal Alexander, a junior majoring in film, is collaborating with a composer to create a score for a short film she wrote, directed and edited. She will be presenting the film at the symposium.
“The total project took three to four weeks, including writing and editing. … You get used to the late nights and being up until 4 a.m.,” Alexander said.
The actors in Alexander’s short film are fellow students from the film department. The film centers around two gang members who must undergo a final task to complete their initiation.
“They find out they must steal the [gang] leader’s mother’s car. Only one of them will make it, so they have to compete against each other to steal the car,” Alexander said. She did not give away the ending of the film, but is excited to hear the public’s reaction.
“I wanted to know what the public thought of work from the film department. … A lot of people are unaware of the film department, so I wanted show my work and show that we’re here. … I’m all about getting feedback. I’ll know what to fix in future films and be able to keep moving forward,” she said.
Aside from late nights and long hours, Alexander has found collaborating on a musical score with a student composer from the music department to be challenging at times.
“When you work with a composer, it’s like they speak a different language,” she said. “I speak in more of a narrative-based, story structure, and the composer is more about rhythm and tempo,” Alexander said.
Hererra and fellow technical communications major Andrew D’ewart have both been working on posters that depict service learning projects they completed as aspects of their major.
“I’m showcasing my experience with my internship at RiteCare Spokane,” D’ewart said. “They’re a non-profit speech therapy organization that offer speech therapy to kids two to seven [years of age] for free.”
To reflect the children-oriented organization, D’ewart designed his poster like a board game.
“I used the color theme of RiteCare, and they’re obviously kid-focused, so I wanted it to still be serious, but I wanted to embrace that idea,” D’ewart said.
Hererra’s poster focused on a project she completed for her proposal writing class. “I partnered with a local non-profit organization called Great Shape, Inc.,” she said. “I wrote a grant for them to the Bob Marley Foundation for $12,000 to get books sent to Jamaica.” She is still waiting to hear whether the grant was successful.
“I started working on this in January and I’m actually still working on it because the non-profit I partnered with, I ended up interning with. The grant requirements were different from what my teacher wanted, so I had to take the grant I wrote and personally review it and redo it completely. It’s an ongoing process for me,” she said.
The symposium is open to the public and EWU faculty and students. Hererra said she believes it is worth checking out.
“I think that it’s a really great way to learn. If students are maybe unsure of what they want to major in, I think it’s a really good place to go to check out what different programs are doing,” she said.
D’ewart had a similar opinion. “I think it’s kind of cool to be able to see what other students are doing,” he said. “For new students like freshmen and sophomores, they can come and see the potential of what they could possibly do in the future and how they could apply their major.”