REACH Week encourages student creativity

Jessica Voorhees

WKU will use this week to honor student research, scholarship and creative achievement through Research Experiences and Creative Heights, or REACH, Week. 

REACH Week began Monday with a kick-off reception, faculty forum and student poster competition. 

Lynn Minton, manager of marketing and business development, said judges evaluated students on their posters, which showcased their research pictorially.

Fourteen student presenters displayed their work at the Posters-at-the-Capital undergraduate research convention in February. Their projects will be displayed on the second floor of Downing Student Union on Saturday at the Student Research Conference. 

Students also attended a speaker event on Wednesday evening presented by the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences. 

Frank Etscorn, inventor of the nicotine patch, spoke to students in the Ransdell Hall Auditorium. 

 Bill Johnson, president and CEO of the Tennessee Valley Authority, will speak in Grise Hall at 2 p.m. Thursday.

WKU Libraries in Owensboro, Glasgow, Elizabethtown and the main campus hosted “Bring Your Own Research Topic” Monday through Wednesday, through which students could receive feedback from library faculty and celebrate REACH Week with food and door prizes. 

The 45th Annual Student Research Conference will take place Saturday, March 28 from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. in DSU. Hundreds of students will present their research projects to judges and attendees. 

Minton said students must apply, submit abstracts and then get approved by mentors before they can enter the conference. 

Also, faculty members from several different fields, such as broadcast journalism and kinesiology, will give three-minute TED talks during lunch to show students how to give short, effective presentations. 

Minton said the conference evolved from a Sigma Xi event that began in 1970. The Student Research Council now coordinates the events and chooses the speakers and presenters.

Minton said REACH Week events allow all students to discover the opportunities for further academic engagement and scholarly activities. 

“It’s a great opportunity for students interested in research or grad school,” she said. “It’s great learning ground.”