Eighth Annual Scholars Day To Be Held April 30

Eighth Annual Scholars Day To Be Held April 30

Eighth Annual Scholars Day To Be Held April 30



Buena Vista University's eighth annual Scholars Day will be held from 3 – 8:30 p.m. on Monday, April 30 in the Harold Walter Siebens Forum.

Scholars Day provides BVU students from all disciplines the opportunity to present original research and other academic work to their peers, professors and the public in an interactive and intellectually engaging environment. This year, approximately 150 students (a new record) have submitted proposals to present their best papers, laboratory projects, music and theatrical performances, artworks, literary critiques, creative writing projects and business plans.  Last year, 134 students participated in the program with a total of 101 presentations.

“Scholars Day is great in so many ways,” says Dr. Matt Packer, assistant professor of English and chair of the events committee of the Faculty Senate. “It celebrates our students’ best work from a wide range of topics and the importance of communicating good scholarship. The event is all about sharing new and exciting ideas and discoveries with a larger audience.”  

This year, Scholars Day will be held on a Monday rather than a Friday, as was done in previous years, in hopes of increasing student involvement. “We’re hoping to encourage participation by having Scholars Day on a date that is more manageable for everyone,” says Packer. “By having the event on a Monday, we anticipate students will have fewer conflicting outside obligations.” 

The keynote speaker is Jason Hillman, Class of 2006, who is a U.S. Army sergeant based in Fort Lewis, Wash. At BVU, Jason majored in history and studied abroad in The Netherlands in the fall of 2004. This international experience influenced Jason’s decision to further his education at Tel Aviv University in Israel, where he earned a master’s degree in Middle Eastern history in 2009. Upon his return to the United States in 2009, Jason joined the Army.

“My international experiences have helped to open my eyes to the inter-connectedness, and also the challenges, of our ever evolving, globalized society,” says Jason.  

Jason, who participated in Scholars Day as a student at BVU, says he is looking forward to returning to campus. “Scholars Day is important for the BVU community because it allows a higher degree of exposure for students to showcase their academic pursuits and enlighten the rest of us across a wide spectrum of disciplines,” he says.  

For the second consecutive year, the Events Committee has awarded Scholars Day Grants to BVU students. Twelve students were chosen as recipients of the awards this year compared to only a few students in 2011. The $200 grants are intended to help cover the costs of equipment, materials and fieldwork needed for presentation research and preparation. “The students chosen demonstrated initiative, presented an engaging proposal/project plan, and calculated their anticipated expenses,” says Packer.

The 12 recipients include Katie Van Zante, a senior arts management and art double major from Baxter; LeeReyna Leyva, a senior arts management and art double major from Redfield; Jess Christensen, a senior psychology major from Pine City, Minn.; Laura Page, a sophomore biology major from Hutchinson, Kan.; Eloisa Estrada, a senior psychology and Spanish double major from Le Mars; Michaela Haley, a senior psychology major from Kansas City, Mo.; Oleksandra Boytsenyuk, a sophomore psychology major from Storm Lake;  Cassandra Sinclair, a junior psychology major from Waconia, Minn.; Peter Winterton, a sophomore English education major from Storm Lake; Myriah Noble, a junior elementary education major from Storm Lake; Zach King, a senior philosophy/religion and psychology double major from Yankton, S.D.; and Grace Sullivan, a junior biology and psychology double major from Yankton, S.D.

Schedule of Events                                           

3– 4 p.m.    
Welcome and Keynote address, Anderson Auditorium

4– 6 p.m.
Verbal presentations, Harold Walter Siebens Forum

6– 7 p.m.
Dinner (by invitation), Dows Grand Ballroom

7– 8:30 p.m.
Poster presentations & dessert, Harold Walter Siebens Forum Foyer