SRU symposium highlight students’ research, scholarship and creative achievement


Student work on display at the symposium

Slippery Rock University student work will be presented at the annual Symposium for Student Research, Scholarship and Creative Achievement, April 18 in the Smith Student Center.

April 3, 2019

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. — Nearly 100 research projects, art exhibits and live performances will be presented at Slippery Rock University's annual Symposium for Student Research, Scholarship and Creative Achievement, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., April 18 in the Smith Student Center. The event will showcase the very best student-faculty scholarly work SRU has to offer across all disciplines.

"I'm always impressed by the breadth of knowledge and creativity exhibited by our students," said Brad Wilson, associate provost for transformational experiences. "Each year the symposium provides our students an excellent way to showcase their research, scholarship and creative activity. The students really benefit from the experience of explaining and presenting their work, especially if they eventually present at national or regional conferences, and attendees benefit by making connections and learning how our students are contributing to the campus community."

Glath Headshot


One example of a project that epitomizes the spirit of the symposium is an art exhibit titled "When Art and Science Collide," that will feature work from a printmaking course, taught by Barbara Westman, associate professor of art, inspired by research conducted by students in an astronomy course taught by Krishna Mukherjee, assistant professor of physics and engineering. The printmaking students created 5-by-5-inch prints representing six research topics they learned from the astronomy students: exoplanets, the James Webb Space Telescope, stellar nurseries, planetary nebula, supermassive black holes and gravitational waves. The astronomy students learned how to make prints from the art students.

"Collaborations like this are very important because both sides experience a newfound respect for the other discipline," said Alina Glath, a junior art major from Butler, who took both classes last spring. "We both realized how complex the other discipline is and you realize that art plays a role in science and science plays a role in art."

This year, there were 93 abstracts submitted for the symposium. Each each underwent a blind review by faculty members who shared suggestions for revising the abstracts to the faculty sponsors who in turn worked with students to craft a clear, concise and complete summary of a project. While abstracts differ depending on the discipline, all abstracts submitted for the symposium should, at a minimum, "inform the reader of the nature, the scope, the means/methodology and the results of the project," according to the symposium's Call for Abstracts form.

There will be 26 oral presentations at the symposium and 59 poster presentations as well as exhibits and performances.

"This gives me a great opportunity to get my work into the public eye and also to network with like minds who are interested in sharing what they have to offer, whether it be research or art," Glath said. "It's also about breaking out of your comfort zone. When students are in a certain major they tend to just focus on anything that has to do with their major and don't find interests in any other disciplines, so this is a great opportunity to do that, to see what students in other majors are doing and what their research is all about."

The symposium schedule of events includes:
• Oral presentations, 8:20 a.m. to 4:20 p.m., SSC Rooms 320 and 322: Ten-minute presentations before a seated audience followed by a five-minute question and answer session.
• Poster presentations, 12:30-2 p.m., SSC Ballroom: The maximum size for a poster is 40-inches-by-55-inches. Posters will be displayed for the duration of the symposium.
• Performances, 2-3:25 p.m., SSC Theater: This category is intended for students in the fine and performing arts who wish to present their project as a performance (dance, musical performance, theatrical performance, literary reading, performance art, etc.). All performances will have five minutes to set up, 15 minutes to introduce and perform, and five minutes for questions and answers.
• Exhibits, 12:30-2 p.m., SSC Ballroom: This category is intended for students in the fine arts who wish to display creative works in painting, drawing, sculpture, ceramics, fabrics, photography, etc. Works will be exhibited throughout the symposium.

For more information about the symposium, including links for the all the scheduled presentations, visit:

MEDIA CONTACT: Justin Zackal | 724.738.4854 |