Do polymers provide a cure for cancer? Should college be free? Is recycling plastic environmentally friendly?
These quandaries are a sampling of issues that nearly 400 students from the University of Mary Washington will tackle at the Undergraduate Student Research and Creativity Day Symposium on Friday, April 24.
The event, which will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on students’ last day of class, will be located at the Information and Technology Convergence Center (ITCC), with related activities taking place in other academic buildings. The Ridderhof and duPont galleries displaying student artwork will be open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The symposium, now in its ninth year, represents students from 20 major disciplines, including natural sciences, humanities, modern and ancient languages, social sciences, visual and performing arts, mathematics and computer science. Students will present their works to other UMW students, faculty and the community.
According to Grant Woodwell, associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and chair of the Earth and Environmental Sciences Department, the symposium gives students the outlet to present their semester-long research in a creative way.
“The day helps to highlight the best that we have to offer as an institution of liberal arts and sciences,” said Woodwell. “We are justly proud of the many students who engage in independent learning activities and have had the opportunity to work closely with a faculty mentor.”
The Research and Creativity Day Symposium, which began in 2007, has changed locations over the years, most recently taking place at Jepson Hall in 2014. The ITCC will serve as home to the symposium this year, and is projected to be a permanent location for the event in the future.
Woodwell, who also organized the event, is excited to bring students’ research to life utilizing the ITCC’s space and resources.
“We are looking forward to a spacious display of posters distributed throughout the ITCC,” said Woodwell. “The space will allow better interaction between the student authors and their visitors.”