One of the most inspiring events that takes place on campus each year is the Research and Creative Works Symposium. A tradition since 1999, the conference celebrates Southwestern University students’ commitment to technological and aesthetic innovation, original research in a variety of fields, and experiential learning.

This year, the Southwestern campus buzzed with excitement as more than 250 students—mentored by 52 faculty and staff—led panels, presented posters, gave performances, and set up exhibitions. Some excitedly discussed eye-opening internships at the Tiemann Art Gallery, the NEST Empowerment Center, and the Zilker Theatre. Others shared their life-changing experiences of studying abroad in Japan and Morocco. Still others gave brief but in-depth scholarly talks on topics ranging from the development of German-language hip hop over the last 20 years, gender in theatre, the cost effectiveness of 3D bioprinter calibration using bioalginate, to climate fiction, the perceptions of public executions in the 16th-century Tudor England, and the impact of studio relationships on the practice of Irish dancing. The whirlwind of interdisciplinary topics generated engaging discussions and inspired continuing and future collaborations.

This year’s festivities were organized by the Center for Integrative Learning team of Senior Director of Integrative & Community-Engaged Learning Sarah Brackmann, Assistant Director of Integrative Learning Ben Belz, and Senior Administrative Assistant for Integrative Learning Christine Vasquez. 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 amazing research and creativity!