Inside USD

Students to Exhibit Their Collaborative Creativity

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Designing a human powered vehicle. Researching the best way to promote support for a nonprofit group helping to free and support child-soldiers in Uganda. Investigating “greenwashing,” the practice of providing misleading information about a product’s environmental benefits.

cc-imageThese are just a few of the 150 research and creative projects that will be presented at USD’s fifth annual Creative Collaborations conference on Thursday, April 15.

A celebration of the university’s intellectual life, Creative Collaborations provides students an opportunity to exhibit their projects before their peers and faculty. Each project has been forged by working with a faculty advisor. Topics range from natural or social sciences to humanities, business and engineering.

“Engaging undergraduate students in research, scholarship and creative activity is an important and successful practice for enhancing a liberal arts and sciences education,” explained Mary K. Boyd, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “The works exhibit the accomplishments of students in a broad range of disciplines, and the exceptional work that can be accomplished by students in all stages of their academic careers at USD.”

Research projects include engineering students who designed an entry for the Human Powered Vehicle Competition sponsored by the American Society Mechanical Engineers. USD’s entry has features similar to a recumbent bicycle but with a steering axis allowing the vehicle to reach higher speeds.

Another project looks at how environmental conditions affect the populations of the Pacific mole crab, an important component of sandy beach food webs.

Students will also demonstrate work from internships or art. One student did an internship with the political reporter at KNBC, the NBC affiliate in Los Angeles, and has been offered a job after graduation. Art projects include “November 18th,” a piece that reproduces the front page of the New York Times in pen and ink, exploring the contradictions inherent when the art of penmanship intersects news and personal reflection.

“The conference is a great way for students to share their tremendous work. It’s a clear display of the excellent opportunities available for students in all majors and disciplines to be active scholars at all stages of their education,” said Debbie Tahmassebi, associate professor and chair of the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department and chair of the event’s organizing committee.

The showcase is also an opportunity for potential USD students to get a look at the opportunities available to them should they choose to enroll. Students attending College Visiting Day this Saturday will be able to look at a mini-Creative Collaborations showcase, and students from San Diego’s Mater Dei Catholic High School will attend next week’s conference as part of a partnership between the high school and USD.

— Ashley Bovey ‘10

Creative Collaborations: A Celebration of Student-Faculty Works takes place on Thursday, April 15 from 12:15-2:15 in the University Center Forum.

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