They hunker down at the Hurley Convergence Center, set up shop at Simpson Library, dig in their heels at duPont. All across campus, at any minute of any day – whether they’re crunching numbers, adjusting microscopes, mixing acrylics or measuring for costumes – University of Mary Washington students are toiling away on something special. They spend months unraveling medical mysteries, exploring what it means to be human, developing life-changing equations and producing artistic masterpieces.
Research and Creativity Day showcases a year’s worth of groundbreaking student work, with faculty guidance, in everything from accounting to women’s and gender studies, from biology and chemistry to business administration and creative writing. Poster sessions, musical performances, exhibits, even a Roman drama, presented by Latin and classics students at the newly renovated Heslep Amphitheatre, will bring scholarly and creative endeavors to life.
In honor of the 13th annual event, Friday, April 26, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., here are 13 things you’ll learn at this year’s Research and Creativity Day.
- How homeless shelters help tell the story of our changing economy. Accounting.
- What motivates makers of the ultra-successful American Girl Doll. Anthropology.
- How Vincent van Gogh’s mood influenced his work. Art History.
- How much toxic metal goes into cheap jewelry. Biology, Chemistry, Biochemistry
- How much arsenic power plants seep into the Potomac River. Chemistry.
- How GIS mapping data can be accessible to the visually impaired. Computer Science.
- Whether firearm background checks help curb violent crimes. Economics.
- How to keep Fredericksburg from being buried under its share of the 250 million tons of trash Americans produce each year. Historic Preservation.
- How the laws of supply and demand affect the American opioid epidemic. International Affairs.
- What light an equation can shed on the progress of untreated HIV. Mathematics.
- How trapping nanoparticles could lead to safer X-rays. Physics.
- How the perfectionist’s brain tricks itself into making mistakes. Psychology.
- Why more men than women work in school administration. Women and Gender Studies.
“Its purpose is to showcase collaborative work between faculty and students and to celebrate the scholarly and creative endeavors of our academic community, said Grand Woodwell, associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciencesand professor of geology. “The presentations and exhibits span the range of disciplines represented within the three colleges of the university and everyone is invited!”
*The summaries above loosely represent a small portion of Research and Creativity Day projects in an attempt to boil technical, academic language down to simplistic terms.