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Celebration of Excellence in Research and Creative Activity to feature faculty-student projects

April 24, 2014
Matthew Bowe, CERCA
Matthew Bowe, now a senior mathematics education major from Bloomer, presented his research during the 2013 Celebration of Excellence in Research and Creative Activity.
Catelyn Mailloux and Megan Byron explaining their creative project.
Sculpture majors Catelyn Mailloux, now a senior from St. Cloud, Minnesota, and Megan Byron, a May 2013 graduate from Blaine, Minnesota, explained their creative project, titled "River Bend Art Project: Relational Art in the Chippewa Valley,"  during the 2013 Celebration of Excellence in Research and Creative Activity.

EAU CLAIRE — University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire students will display their faculty-mentored research, scholarly and creative projects April 30-May 1 at the university's annual student research event, the Celebration of Excellence in Research and Creative Activity.

This year, CERCA marks its 22nd year and has been recognized as a "Program of Distinction" by the UW-Eau Claire Student Affairs Awards and Recognition Committee.

More than 315 collaborative student-faculty projects will be shared via films, oral presentations and exhibits/posters from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. each day in the W.R. Davies Student Center. Students, faculty and staff, and the general public are invited to follow the event on the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs Facebook page (#CERCAuwec), which will include a live agenda.

Dr. Tim Nelson will speak at the CERCA celebratory reception at 4 p.m. May 1 in the Dakota Ballroom of Davies Center. Nelson received a bachelor's degree in biochemistry and molecular biology from UW-Eau Claire in 1998. He serves as director of the Todd and Karen Wanek Family Program for Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome, which is part of the Mayo Clinic's Center for Regenerative Medicine. Nelson was the recipient of the UW-Eau Claire Alumni Association President's Award in 2013.

"All CERCA presentations demonstrate UW-Eau Claire's 'Power of AND,' unleashed through collaborative research, scholarly and creative activities between students and their faculty mentors," said Dr. Karen Havholm, director of UW-Eau Claire's Center of Excellence for Faculty and Undergraduate Student Research Collaboration.

Many CERCA presentations will emphasize additional dynamic combinations, including the following:

  • "Empowerment AND Electricity, Community AND Coffee: Microturbines in Central Honduras," a film presentation by Corrin Turkowitch, Wauwatosa, with geography and anthropology faculty mentor Jeff DeGrave.

  • "Opera AND Sustainability," a poster presentation by Jordyn Beranek, Rice Lake; Danielle Bronshteyn, Elk River, Minnesota; and Michaela Tures, Kohler; with music and theatre arts faculty mentor Dr. Mitra Sadeghpour.

  • "Investigation of Student Attitudes AND Understanding in General Chemistry," an oral presentation by Rachel Egdorf, Mishicot, with chemistry faculty mentor Dr. Rose Theisen.

  • "Attraction AND Attractiveness in Male-Female Dyads: Do Dating Couples Differ from Cross-Sex Friends?" a poster presentation by Whitney Joseph, Eau Claire; Heather Williquette, Greenleaf; and Bryan Donovan, Greenfield; with psychology faculty mentor Dr. April Bleske-Rechek.

  • "Meeting Campus AND Community Needs through Service — Involvement of Sigma Tau Delta," an oral presentation by Alexandrea Krause, Neenah, with English faculty mentor Dr. Carey Applegate.

  • "Biodiversity AND Deforestation in Cambodian Community Forests," a poster presentation by Breana Meyer, Fall Creek; Joel Smith, Duluth, Minnesota; Kelsey Pischke, West Salem; and Joseph Weirich, South Milwaukee; with biology faculty mentor Deb Freund.

Each year, hundreds of UW-Eau Claire students and faculty come together to produce high-quality research that prepares students for the future, and the results from many projects are presented at professional conferences and published, Havholm said.

"Mentored research is a high-impact practice that helps students prepare to continue their education or join the workforce," Havholm said. "The dedicated faculty at UW-Eau Claire play a critical role in making this valuable experience available to more than 800 students each year."

Many projects presented at the Celebration of Excellence in Research and Creative Activity were funded by the Blugold Commitment, a student-supported differential tuition that helps fund programs and experiences that preserve and enhance the distinctive UW-Eau Claire educational experience.

CERCA is sponsored by UW-Eau Claire's Office of Research and Sponsored Programs. For more information, visit the ORSP website and click on "CERCA," follow the event on ORSP's Facebook page, call 715-836-3405 or email See a full schedule of events for the week of April 28-May 2, including the Math Retreat on April 28 (which will conclude with the 2 p.m. performance of "Calculus: The Musical"), the Bachelor of Fine Arts Senior Show May 1-11 and the Provost's Honors Symposium on May 2.



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