Across campus, Centre College students are working hard to prepare for the 11th annual Research, Internships and Creative Endeavors (RICE) symposium, April 12. For the first time this year, RICE will be part of a week-long celebration of research, featuring different events each day.
The symposium is an opportunity for students in all disciplines and class years to display research achievements, creative endeavors, internships and independent projects completed over the course of the school year.
“We are excited that the RICE symposium has been extended to be an entire week of events celebrating undergraduate research at Centre,”said RICE co-chairs Ellen Prusinski, assistant director of CTL, experiential learning coordinator and assistant professor of education, and Leonard Demoranville, assistant professor of chemistry.
On Monday, April 9, there will be research exploration drop-in hours, co-sponsored by the Grace Doherty Library.
“This event will give students considering undergraduate research an opportunity to speak with mentors in different disciplines,” they added. “They will be able to ask about what it is like to do research at Centre, how to find opportunities at-and-away from Centre and what the benefits of research are.”
There will be a luncheon on Tuesday, April 10, to celebrate the undergraduate researchers and their mentors. On Wednesday, April 11, Centre will host the inaugural James W. Barton RICE Symposium Lecture and Convocation which will be given by Dr. Christopher Barton, Director of the University of Kentucky Appalachian Center.
During the symposium on April 12, over 100 students will be participating, giving a total of 66 oral and 28 poster presentations from a variety of academic disciplines. A number of students will also be exhibiting their art work on Friday, April 13, from 3:30-6:30 p.m. in the AEGON Gallery in the Jones Visual Arts Center.
“Having a week-long celebration of undergraduate research is something the Undergraduate Research Committee has discussed for several years,” they continued. “It is a recommendation of the National Council on Undergraduate Research. We are grateful for the faculty, staff, students and administration for supporting us in making it happen.”
Over the years, Centre has done a lot of work surrounding undergraduate research. In the past few years, in part because of a grant from the Mellon Foundation, the College has developed a better understanding of the state of undergraduate research.
“This event serves to remind us of the real reason that we work so hard to promote and facilitate undergraduate research opportunities,” Prusinski and Demoranville said. “We want to be a place that gives students the opportunity to follow their interests, developing intellectual curiosity and grow as scholars.”
According to Prusinski and Demoranville, undergraduate research is one of the many opportunities Centre students have to achieve these goals. The RICE symposium is a time to celebrate their achievements and hear from them personally.
“For students who present, it is a valuable opportunity to practice public speaking and presenting their work in a professional academic setting,” they added. “For students who attend, we hope that it is inspirational to see the high quality scholarship that is conducted by Centre students. For any attendee, whether student, faculty, staff or community member, we hope that it encourages consideration of how they can get involved in undergraduate research, scholarship, internships and creative endeavors.”
The 2018 RICE Symposium is sponsored in part by the dean’s office and a sponsorship from alumnus and trustee Dr. John Barton, who has long been a supporter of RICE. This year, Barton established an additional endowment that will help fund RICE and the James W. Barton RICE Symposium Lecture.
by Kerry Steinhofer
April 5, 2018