One of the most exhilarating events that takes place on campus each year is the Research and Creative Works Symposium. A tradition since 2000, the conference celebrates Southwestern University students’ commitment to technological and aesthetic innovation, original research in a variety of fields, and community-engaged learning.

This year, the Southwestern campus buzzed with excitement as more than 230 students—mentored by 43 faculty and staff—led panels, presented posters, gave performances, and set up exhibitions. Some excitedly discussed eye-opening internships at Saturday Night Live, the NEST Empowerment Center, and the Colorado River Alliance. Others shared their life-changing experiences of studying abroad in the U.K., Panama, China, and Argentina. Still others gave brief but in-depth scholarly talks on topics ranging from neoliberal feminism, gender quotas in French and Albanian political elections, and the effects of tea drinking on life expectancy to water quality in the San Gabriel River, the representation of ancient Roman emperors’ wives by historians, and the relationship between government funding of education and adult poverty levels. The whirlwind of interdisciplinary topics generated exuberant discussions and inspired continuing and future collaborations.

This year’s festivities were organized by the intrepid team of Senior Director of Integrative & Community-Engaged Learning Sarah Brackmann, Director of Intercultural Learning Tisha Korkuś, Assistant Director of Integrative Learning Benjamin Belz, Assistant Director of Intercultural Learning Cortney Graves ’12, Coordinator of Community-Engaged Learning Caroline Haywood ’18, Senior Administrative Assistant for Integrative Learning Christine Vasquez, and the entire Center for Integrative Learning. Congratulations to them for making the symposium such a success, to the dedicated faculty and staff mentors who supported this year’s impressive projects, and to all the inspiring students who shared their enlightening research and creativity!