Westfield State hosts semi-annual CURCA celebration

The CURCA ribbon cutting ceremony and student presentations at WSU in December last year. The student’s research can be seen on the walls, and will follow a similar display in Friday’s showcase. (Photo submitted)

WESTFIELD- Westfield State University’s Center for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity (CURCA) will have its semi-annual celebration today in the Ely Campus Center.

More than 100 students will present their research projects from 1-4 p.m.

The event will feature student work stemming from projects including research projects and writing pieces presented via poster. Students will be presenting their work representing many disciplines taught at the university. 

CURCA Director Lamis Jarvinen said that there is no particular theme in this event as there was when they hosted one in April, when many of the research projects were related to the City of Westfield in conjunction with the Westfield 350 celebrations. 

“Looking at a lot of the projects, I think I see a lot of creative work in the English department relating to Native American tribes and how they’re depicted in movies and US culture,” said Jarvinen.

She added that she is seeing that a lot of the projects have themes relating to some current events and national debate. Some students have done research on the effects of vaping while others have taken a look at the effects of social media as a whole. 

“One thing that we’re really highlighting are oral presentations given by summer research fellows,” said Jarvinen, “Students who conducted research projects with their mentor will give oral presentations on their research from the Student Summer Research Fellow (SSURF) program.”

She said that the SSURF program is something that she has been trying to grow since she first began working in CURCA. Last year, there were just two student-mentor pairs, while this year there are eight. 

The celebration on Friday will begin at 1 p.m. with a welcome and opening ceremony. From 1:45 to 2:45 p.m. the first session of the oral presentations will take place, while the second session takes place from 3 to 4 p.m..

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