Ninth Annual Scholars Day to be Held April 29

Ninth Annual Scholars Day to be Held April 29

Ninth Annual Scholars Day to be Held April 29


Bo Leonard, Scholars Day keynote speaker

Buena Vista University's ninth annual Scholars Day will be held from 3 – 8:30 p.m. on Monday, April 29 in the Harold Walter Siebens Forum.

Scholars Day, which is open to the public, 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 120 students have submitted proposals to present their best papers, laboratory projects, music and theatrical performances, artworks, literary critiques, and creative writing projects.

"There is great work happening on our campus that is not publicized or widely known," says Rebecca Frates, assistant professor of graphic design/visual communication and chair of the events committee of the Faculty Senate. "This day gives students the opportunity to share and the BVU and Storm Lake communities the chance to become more aware of these projects."

The keynote speaker is Bo Leonard, Class of 2003, who is the head athletic trainer for the Chicago-based Major League Soccer team, the Chicago Fire. At BVU, Bo majored in athletic training and was a member of the men's soccer team for three years. As a senior, Bo served as the president of the Buena Vista Athletic Trainers Society student organization.

"During my time at BVU I was encouraged to ask questions and be curious," says Bo. "The small class sizes allowed me to do this without hesitation. I was also lucky enough to be surrounded with faculty, staff, and fellow students who challenged me on a daily basis."

In 2005, Bo earned his master's degree in physical education with an emphasis in cardiac rehabilitation from Eastern Illinois University before accepting a job with Athletico, an athletic training clinical outreach company. At Athletico, Bo worked as the head athletic trainer for 600 student-athletes at Hillcrest High School in Country Club Hills, Ill., and had the opportunity to work with the Chicago Bears as a certified athletic training intern during the 2006-2007 football season. In 2007, Bo began working for the Chicago Fire as an assistant athletic trainer, and in 2008, he was named to his current position.

Bo, who lives with his wife, Mary, in Evergreen Park, Ill., says he is looking forward to returning to campus. "Scholars Day is a fantastic method of showcasing and celebrating what the current students are achieving during their time at BVU," he says. "I am planning on speaking about fear and becoming fearless, taking chances, and the significance of the little things in life. I hope that people take a newfound desire to be fearless in the personal and professional paths that lie ahead of them."

For the third consecutive year, the Events Committee has awarded Scholars Day Grants to individuals participating in the academic showcase. This year, six individual student projects and one group project were awarded up to $200. The grants are intended to help cover the costs of equipment, materials and fieldwork needed for presentation research and preparation.

The six individual project recipients include Rachel Bassich, a senior criminology and criminal justice major from Malvern; Nicole Nee, a senior history major from Spencer; Grace Sullivan, a senior biology and psychology double major from Yankton, S.D.; Sahara Scott, a senior theatre major from St. Louis, Mo.; Xochitl de Anda, a senior psychology major from Sioux City; and Grace Bodey, a junior graphic design/visual communication and digital media double major from Belvidere, Ill.

The group project recipients include Katie Larsen, a junior elementary education major from Glenwood; Nora Seda, a junior elementary education major from Traer; Suzuka Abe, Momoka Matsusaka, and Ai Mitobe, all international exchange students from Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan; and Ling Yang, visiting instructor of Chinese language at BVU.