Scientific, Scholarly and Artistic Imagination of Colorado State University Undergraduates on Display at Symposium April 23-24

Colorado State University undergraduates who have conducted research in the sciences and engineering or who have created works of poetry, theater, painting, dance or sculpture will be recognized at the Seventh All-University Undergraduate Research and Creativity Symposium.

Working under faculty mentors, about 260 students have conducted their own out-of-class research, scholarly or creative projects. The chair of the symposium, who said participation increased by about 30 percent this year, noted that the symposium offers a unique opportunity to showcase hands-on creative experiences available to undergraduates at Colorado State.

Michael Antolin, associate professor of biology and symposium chairman, said creativity is traditionally best learned through an apprenticeship.

"That opportunity to work on your own but with the advice and support of a mentor skilled in the craft or art is what sets Colorado State apart from other educational institutions in Colorado," Antolin said. "We provide an opportunity for students to work directly with faculty in research laboratories, in studios and in theaters. In terms of rich undergraduate experiences for students who want to achieve the highest level that they can, this is something we do that’s different than most places."

"This aspect of the university is one of the last apprenticeship systems left – and apprenticeship is how you become a scientist or an artist."

The two-day event is sponsored by the Office of the Provost under the direction of Associate Provost for Undergraduate Studies Laurie Hayes, with some $5,000 in prize money going to those who show outstanding effort.

Faculty mentors have been easy to enlist for the ongoing project. Antolin said they seem to relish the opportunity to work one-on-one or with small teams of interesting, talented people, helping them unlock ideas and unleash their talents.

He said a recent National Science Foundation study indicates most working scientists have had research experience in laboratories as undergraduates.

"As a faculty, we are proud to take students beyond classrooms where they are simply told about creativity in arts and sciences, or into simulations where they can practice," he said.

"We take extra time and effort to support curious, creative students in laboratories and studios where the discoveries are actually made, because the students themselves are willing to put their own thought and sweat into research and scholarship. This kind of learning happens only in these opportunities from a place like Colorado State University."

All displays, activities and receptions are free and open to the public.

  • Art Gallery Opening, 4. p.m. April 23, Arts Lounge, Lory Student Center
  • Research poster presentations will be on display 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 24 in the Lory Student Center Ballroom
  • Research oral presentations will be held in small meeting rooms in the 9 a.m. to noon April 24 Lory Student Center
  • Creative works of theater, music and dance and prose and poetry readings will be performed live beginning at 5:30 p.m. April 23 in the Lory Student Center Theater
  • Creative works in the visual arts (ceramics, drawing, fibers, graphics, metalsmithing, mixed media, painting, photography, printmaking and sculpture) will be juried and selected works exhibited now through May 3 in the Curfman Gallery of the Lory Student Center
  • Applied design projects in apparel and fabric design, interior design, landscape architecture and design, natural resources interpretation and theatrical production, design and technology. These projects will be exhibited from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 24 in the Lory Student Center Ballroom.
  • Awards Ceremony at the end of the symposium at 4 p.m. April 24 in Room 228 of the Lory Student Center. Keynote address will be by Michael Thaut, professor of music, theatre and dance and the molecular, cellular and integrative neurosciences program.

More information is available at the symposium’s Web site at