California Lutheran University’s eighth annual Festival of Scholars features a variety of talented students and their work. The free festival will take place April 28 through May 3, throughout campus.
CLU’s Festival of Scholars is a week long celebration of scholarly work of undergraduate and graduate students from the College of Arts and Sciences, the Graduate School of Education and the School of Management.
“It features scholarly work including traditional research, creative work or the application of theory to real life situations,” said Grady Hanrahan, professor and associate provost of experiential learning, research and faculty development.
As one of the administrators running the event, Hanrahan hopes to encourage more students to participate in the festival because of its influential learning environment.
In some cases, the research presented is related to a particular class. In other cases, students present their senior capstone projects or research that was completed independently of curriculum.
“I think it’s a great experience, really putting your time into presenting something that you have interest in,” sophomore William Zimmerle said.
The projects reflect extended periods of time devoted to research. Some spend months while others build upon their topic for years.
Sophomore Jee Jung worked in the Multimedia Department’s “Creative Concepts” series for the festival. The series revolves around making and developing a creative story. Students in the multimedia 200 class have been working on their own stories for over a year to perfect them.
“My story is about this character named John, a loner who wants to have friends,” Jung said. “I tried to emphasize the importance of relationships and choices in our lives through John’s story.”
The festival covers a myriad of topics like English, film and media, religion, psychology, management, art and more.
The faculty mentors for the event are professors and other staff members of CLU who work closely with the students.
“It’s one of the things I love most about attending CLU, being able to work that closely with the faculty,” Zimmerle said. “I think it’s just a great help for them to be around.”
Students often build close connections with faculty mentors as a result of participating in the festival.
“All of our mult. students call our professors by their first names. That already shows how close and comfortable we are with our faculty members,” Jung said.
According to Hanrahan, students participating in the event are likely to gain more skills outside of the topic they are researching.
“It goes beyond what is taught in the classroom and enables students to apply and showcase the knowledge they have gained in a public setting,” Hanrahan said. “Ultimately, it enhances their presentation skills and stimulates a culture of intellectual curiosity.”
Published April 23, 2014