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CERCA showcases UW-Eau Claire student research

| Gary Johnson

Photo caption: A total of 516 UW-Eau Claire students from all disciplines are presenting their research at the 2024 Celebration of Excellence in Research and Creative Activity.

The research and scholarly creative activity of more than 500 Blugold students will be showcased at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire’s Celebration of Excellence in Research and Creative Activity April 22-26 on campus.

Among the scheduled activities during CERCA are the open poster exhibitions from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Wednesday, April 24, and 2-4 p.m. Thursday, April 25, in the Ojibwe Ballroom of Davies Center.

Erica Benson

Dr. Erica Benson, executive director of the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs

Research projects that students engaged in during the academic year and summer are “incredibly impressive,” says Dr. Erica Benson, executive director of the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs.

“I am regularly awestruck by the research and creative activity our students engage in and the eloquence with which they talk about their projects and the significance of their work,” Benson says. “Many of the projects students are presenting involve cutting-edge research and creative activity in their faculty mentor’s disciplines. Some projects also involve partnerships with Mayo Clinic Health System, local businesses and local community organizations.”

UW-Eau Claire has celebrated the achievements of student researchers for more than 30 years. The first UW-Eau Claire student research event was held in 1992, with 60 posters presented. This year, 516 students from all disciplines at UW-Eau Claire, who worked with 175 faculty members, will be presenting their research. A total of 11 Chippewa Valley Technical College student researchers also will present six projects.

The weeklong activities include more than 375 student presentations, with over 220 poster presentations, 120 oral presentations and 35 performances/readings/Quick Pitch presentations across all CERCA events. Among the events are the Mathematics Retreat, the Population Health and Leadership Colloquium, the Provost’s Honors Symposium and the Spotlight on First-Year Research.

Morgan Dekan, a third-year economics major from Altoona, is presenting three different research projects in different formats: A poster on perceptions of sustainable agriculture in the Chippewa Valley; an oral presentation on utilization of the Market Match program for low-income families at the Eau Claire Downtown Farmers Market; and a presentation of the discretization of the Lotka-Volterra system of differential equations using the framework of time-scale calculus with her research partner at the Math Retreat.

Dekan is passionate about research and enjoys examining the work of other students’ wide range of topics from within different disciplines. She says seeing how various departments share their work is “a cool experience.”

“I think seeing all the student research being done on campus is amazing and inspiring,” Dekan says. “It is super impressive to see all the hard work my peers have been putting into their work and I know it’s super rewarding to get to share the work we have been doing.”