The annual Scholars Showcase at the University of Indianapolis was held this week, running April 25-27, and allowed people in UIndy’s community to present their current projects, according to Assistant Professor of Chemistry and Scholars Showcase Committee Co-chair Lori Bolyard. She said there were presentations both in-person and virtually, with the in-person events held in the Schwitzer Student Center.
Bolyard said there were a mix of projects being presented, with some students only having worked on their project for a couple of months, and others presenting projects they have been working on for years. She also said that students may have even presented an idea on something they are interested in to open up conversations about that topic. Presenting these topics are important, she said, because it allows students to see how far they have come.
“I think it’s good to pause and acknowledge what you’ve done, even if you haven’t completed a project to see what you have accomplished. . . . Sometimes when you’re working on a project long-term, you don’t realize how much you learned or how much you accomplished,” Bolyard said. “It’s good to take time to stop and kind of see, even if it’s not complete, see what you’ve done so far. I think they’re a real confidence booster for them [students] too, when they start talking to other faculty and other students, and they realize how much more they know about the topic than even other learned people on campus just because they’ve been so immersed in it.”
Students who participated in the scholars showcase also had the opportunity to win awards for their projects, according to Assistant Professor of Public Health and Scholars Showcase Committee Co-chair Angelitta Britt-Spells. She said those who wanted to have their presentations judged had to submit their application at an earlier deadline than those who did not.
“… During their presentation time, we have at least two judges come in and watch them. We have a rubric score that basically scales how they are presenting the content, their expertise, a variety of different areas,” Britt-Spells said. “Quality of work from the other scores are calculated and then it’s all put in to compare them to other presenters to give them an overall score to see where they rank.”
Britt-Spells said the scholars showcase allows students to talk about and study areas that they are really interested in and make new discoveries within that field of interest. She said encouraging these students while at UIndy is important because they will then be able to take what they learned here and take it with them wherever they go.
“It really gives them opportunities to see how even something that they may have not realized could turn [in]to something big, can become a passion and something that they really are able to invest in, really be able to pursue,” Britt-Spells said. “I think it’s important because it allows them an opportunity to kind of connect, to kind of take their career, their direction and journey a little bit further.”
Students are encouraged to come out and see the different presentations, according to both Bolyard and Britt-Spells. The last day of the scholars showcase is April 27 and Britt-Spells said students should come to the showcase so they can support their peers.
“It [the showcase] allows the opportunity to really see all the amazing things coming together in one place happening on campus,” Britt-Spells said. “And we don’t really have this platform in other places because of the fact that there’s not really another day on campus where we have all the different departments, all the different colleges and programs coming together and bringing their work together for everyone to see. So it’s really a chance to really get a taste of what’s happened at UIndy.”